2 mins read 05 Jul 2021

Andy Thomas Foundation and Makers Empire Team Up

The Andy Thomas Space Foundation and Makers Empire have announced a collaboration to educate primary school children on space career opportunities. 

Credit: NASA, Astronaut Michael Edward Fossum. Wikimedia Commons.

The Andy Thomas Space Foundation (ATSF) and Makers Empire have announced a new collaboration in primary school education. This new program will see a space-themed version of Makers Empire Learning by Design course which will educate students about space career opportunities. The program will be trialled in nine South Australian schools in Terms 3 and 4 this year before a planned national roll-out commences. Minister for Education John Gardner said this is an exciting opportunity for students.  

“These young South Australians are part of a generation that will help build our growing space industry and this program will inspire them to shoot for the stars,” said Minister Gardner.

“South Australia is the epicentre of the nation’s space industry, so we are perfectly placed to offer this Australian-first pilot program and encourage children to consider a future that’s out of this world.” 

Makers Empire CEO Jon Soong said that he is excited to be partnering with the ATSF.

“Together we’ll inspire young Australian students with dreams of the stars.” 

Inspiring the Next Generation

The primary schools' program has a budget of \$45,000 and will see between two and five teachers from each school attend a professional development course at Lot Fourteen in Adelaide to design and develop a space education unit for students. The program’s trial will ultimately culminate in a student-led expo-style Showcase Day later this year at the Australian Space Discovery Centre, also in Adelaide. The schools in this year’s trial program will be revealed in July.  

ATSF Chairman Michael Davis AO commented, “This initiative with Makers Empire brings primary schools into the Foundation’s orbit and it’s an ideal fit with our reason for being which, initially, is about creating educational opportunities and pathways into space-related careers.”

The ATSF was founded at the end of 2020 and is named after Australian-born NASA astronaut Andy Thomas. In March the ATSF announced a scholarships program with the support of their sponsors and the South Australian Government, valued at a total of \$150,000, to support secondary, tertiary and postgraduate levels of education. They also announced their aim to bid for the 2024 International Astronautical Congress to be held in Adelaide.