Sending a satellite to space is good fun but it is even more fun if this satellite has a purpose in space. The Da Vinci satellite is built to help children and teenagers from primary to high school discover space and everything that happens there. We do this by adding two payloads which can be used by these children and teenagers to discover and research what happens in space.
Children in primary school are still discovering their likings and passions, this is the perfect age to let these children discover the wonders of space. This is also where our primary school payload focuses on. We asked primary school students what they would like to do in space and the answer we got was “We would like to play a game with the satellite”. That’s why, together with the Leidse Instrumentenmakers School, we made a dice payload that can be used to play with dice in space. This is combined with a interactive story where these kids can discover what exactly is going on above our heads.
We have also already given a lesson at the international primary school in our city, Delft. We did this to discover what kids want to know and if this would be an interesting teaching module. This was a great success!
In high school teenagers get more freedom to choose their own path and follow their interests. We want that teenagers get as much a chance as possible to pursue their interest in space as much as possible with our satellite. This is the purpose of our high school payload. We developed a payload that can show the effects of radiation with “bit-flips”. Bit-flips are mutations in the binary code of computers that are caused by radiation, a 1 becomes 0 or the other way around. This can make a picture look very different. This changed data can then be used to do statistics calculations or to discover the world of computer science. To get this to the students we are making modules to fit within existing courses like informatics. We are now running some projects at technasium schools where students have to develop and research a satellite to monitor climate change.
These modules should be available to every Dutch primary and high school as soon as our satellite is operational. With our satellite we hope to be able to inspire and enthuse children and teenagers about space. If you are interested to work with these modules please fill in this contact form and we will contact you!