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Teacher & Student Masterclasses

Over two days, both NAIS Pudong teachers and students, as well as invited students and teachers from international schools in Shanghai and local schools around China attended informative and entertaining space science masterclasses. Taking the teachers and students through a range of interesting and hands-on classes and experiments were:

  • Anu Ojha OBE, Physicist, Director of the UK National Space Academy and Director of the National Space Centre
  • Judith Green, Physicist and Chemist, who was selected to present Teacher Masterclasses at NASA's 2009 Space Exploration Educators Conference
  • Chris Carr, Biologist and Environmental Scientist, who leads teacher training and student masterclasses for the UK Astrobiology Summer Academy

In Physics, the classes looked at pressure in space and vacuums modelling the effects on cells of being in space. They also learnt about gravity wells and modelled the effect of gravity on solar bodies.

When considering space Biology, teachers and students learnt about ways to identify if there is life on planets. They analysed samples to see if the processes within them were biological (indicating life) or chemical (indicating absence of life). Lecturer Chris Carr conducted a dramatic experiment with a flower and dry ice, shattering the flower to show the impact on living organisms of the extreme conditions found on planets.

In Chemistry, students and teachers looked at the acidification of oceans with carbon dioxide, space propulsion, and comets. The very interactive sessions saw them use readily available lab materials to create the explosive power of jet fuel and to even make their own 'comets'.

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