Calling all future astronauts: Airbus Foundation launches Discovery Space portal
The Airbus Foundation is teaming up with Autodesk Inc., the software provider for people who make things, to launch the Discovery Space, a digital portal with educational animations and interactive aerospace-themed lessons in 3D design.
In an effort to inspire students to pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers, the site’s interactive curriculum brings aerospace into the classroom by teaching students about space exploration, including what it takes to survive in space and fly a mission to the moon.
Tom Enders, Chairman of the Airbus Foundation, said: “Youth development is at the heart of the Airbus Foundation’s mission. It is all about the future. We strive every day to stimulate and inspire young minds through STEM and are proud to add the Discovery Space website as an additional educational tool. I would like to thank our collaborator Autodesk for providing the resources and design software to make this website as appealing to students as possible.”
The Airbus Foundation Discovery Space project offers students the opportunity to build their own virtual spacecraft in Autodesk Tinkercad and Autodesk Fusion 360 software, factoring in parameters such as robustness to break through Earth’s atmosphere, trajectory and impact for landing on the moon. Students can also build portfolios and submit designs to win the “Mission to the Moon” challenge. In addition, the Airbus Foundation Discovery Space project includes downloadable videos and step-by-step guides inspiring future engineers.
“Technology is changing how people design and make things and with the launch of Discovery Space, we’re joining the Airbus Foundation in helping the next generation strengthen the skills needed for the jobs of tomorrow,” said Mary Hope McQuiston, Vice President, Education Experiences, Autodesk. “These interactive space exploration projects not only teach students how to use 3D design software, but also the skills and mindset that will be so critical in the future, including being curious, resilient and collaborative.”
The Discovery Space website compliments the Foundation’s onsite STEM programmes, like the Airbus Foundation Discovery Space at Stevenage, United Kingdom, a site-specific installation where young people can discover aerospace through hands-on experiences.