Powerhouse Parramatta

Powerhouse: Future Space

Active in 2022 In-school program

Powerhouse: Future Space connects Stage 5 students from six Western Sydney local government areas to the International Space Station and a global network of learners through the ExoLab-10 mission.

The 2022 mission ‘Carbon Farmer’ uses scientific enquiry to teach students about the importance of the carbon cycle on Earth and in space. Students will become climate change solutionaries by experimenting with growing alfalfa in the classroom. By conducting their own ground trials in line with an active experiment on board the International Space Station they can compare data on effective methods for growing crops in microgravity to sustain future space missions and help filter carbon dioxide from the air for astronauts on long space flights.

The Powerhouse: Future Space schools include Arthur Phillip High School, Casula High School, East Hills Girls Technology High School, Hurlstone Agricultural High School, Jamison High School and Seven Hills High School with additional schools Murrumbidgee Regional High School and Maitland Grossmann High School.

This program will be delivered in tandem with the Powerhouse: Design For Space Challenge as part of the newly developed department approved elective iSTEM. Maitland Grossmann High School and Murrumbidgee Regional High School will be involved in a virtual pilot of the program.

Powerhouse: Future Space is developed in partnership by Powerhouse, Magnitude.io and the NSW Department of Education, with support from Fizzics Education and presented as part of the Lang Walker Family Academy In-Schools Program.



Previous Events


November 8, 2022

Future Space students met at Powerhouse Ultimo to connect with participating schools and experts. Students heard talks from Dr Andrew Jacobs and Dr Sarah Reeves on curation and began to build concepts for a Future Space exhibit.

Dr Annie Handmer, Professor Deen Sanders OAM and Professor Steven Freeland engaged students in a discussion on perspectives in space law, sustainability, and ethics. Students engaged in a Q&A with young space industry professionals and began to ideate the possibilities of their future student-designed experiment on the International Space Station, guided by Ben Newsome and Renee Cawthorne. Students then visited UTS to join in The Humans in Space Summit and hear about the workforce from space industry experts. While the official day of learning drew to a close after the talk for most, for some, they continued on to enjoy the lunar eclipse at Sydney Observatory Late: Total Lunar Eclipse event.

Watch the summary video of the event here

Sydney Science Festival Panel

August 20, 2022

Powerhouse held an intergenerational panel to discuss the inspiring and emerging opportunities for young people to develop their career path into Australia’s space industry on 20 August. The panel, comprised of space industry professionals, educators and students, discussed how their passion for STEM led to meaningful learning experiences and careers and how it continues to inspire their practices.

STEM Teachers X Space Industry

August 18, 2022

Powerhouse held the first Powerhouse: Future Space Teacher Networking event on 18 August 2022 to connect teachers with space industry professionals. Participating industry professionals shared the current and emerging career opportunities with teachers who play a key role in inspiring young minds about future career opportunities in space industry.

Powerhouse: Future Space school visit

August 17 + 19, 2022

Powerhouse: Future Space connected the CEO of Magnitude.io Ted Tagami with students and teachers from Arthur Phillip High School, Casula High School, Seven Hills High School and East Hills Girls Technological High School on 17 and 19 August 2022.

Students had an opportunity to share their learning from the Exolab experiment, interact with two prototypes and hear from Ted about the story of Exolab’s origin.

Powerhouse: Future Space film launches

August 15, 2022

Powerhouse: Future Space film launched on NSW Department of Education STEM 2022 On demand during National Science Week in August 2022.

The inspiring film featured Powerhouse: Future Space to showcase how Powerhouse Lang Walker Family Academy will lead a transformational change in the education system by co-designing programs that connect to and go beyond curriculum, connecting students with industry experts to help them develop the skills to solve real-world problems.

The film featured Powerhouse Head of Lang Walker Family Academy Sophie Poisel, Powerhouse Science Curator Sarah Reeves, CEO of Magnitude.io Ted Tagami and students who are participating in the Powerhouse: Future Space program.

Engagement with Space Industry Roundtable

August 15, 2022

The Head of Powerhouse Lang Walker Family Academy, Sophie Poisel, took part in a space industry round table discussion with representatives from National Space Industry Hub, Optus Wholesale and Satellite, NSW Space Research Network, Defence NSW, Investment NSW, Australian Space Agency, Victorian Space Science Education Centre, NSW Department of Education, UNSW Canberra Space, MCB Business Partners and Magnitude.io.

The round table aims to amplify current space-based programs by leveraging existing partnerships and identifying further opportunities nationally and internationally with partners in both public and private to foster the future space workforce.

Dr Mary Ellen Weber​

August 12, 2022

Powerhouse connected scientist and former NASA Astronaut Dr Mary Ellen Weber with high school students from East Hills Girls Technological High School and regional NSW through the Powerhouse: Future Space on 12 August 2022. Students had an opportunity to hear her inspiring recollections from an outstanding STEM career. She also offered insights into the new era of commercial space travel, followed by a Q&A.

Regional participating schools Murrumbidgee Regional High School, Maitland Grossmann High School, Beelbangera Public School, Griffith East Public School, Yoogali Public School, Kalinda School, Rankin’s Springs Public School, Whitton Murrami Public School and Yenda Public School joined the presentation virtually.

Badri Younes Returns​

July 23, 2022

Powerhouse connected Badri Younes, NASA Deputy Associate Administrator with students and teachers from Hurlstone Agricultural School, East Hills Girls Technology School and TAFE NSW through the Powerhouse: Future Space program on 23 July 2022.

Younes spoke about his career pathway and his purpose in Australia advising the Australian Space Agency.

Women in STEM Event​

May 25, 2022

Powerhouse held a Women in STEM event on 25 May 2022. The event featured a talk with the 2022 NSW Australia of the Year, Professor Veena Sahajwalla, chaired by Ita Buttrose AC OBE. Veena and Ita passionately conveyed the importance of self-belief and strength of character in tackling industry roadblocks. Veenais is active in raising the profile of women in STEM. She shared her personal experience with discrimination and industry barriers and how her curiosity led her to be one of Australia’s most renowned recycling innovators with students from Macarthur Girls High School, East Hills Technology High School and Chester Hill High School.

Powerhouse: Future Space Launch

April 01, 2022

The Powerhouse: Future Space program was launched at a local participating school, Arthur Phillip High School on Friday 1 April. It is the first program to roll-out in high schools under the Powerhouse Parramatta Lang Walker Family Academy. The Launch was attended by Badri Younes, NASA’s Deputy Associate Administrator and Program Manager for Space Communications and Navigation. Younes presented on current – and future – space communications technologies like optical and quantum communications for Arthur Phillip High School and East Hills Girls Technology High School students, who are also participating in the program.