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Grantham pupils reach for stars during astronaut visit

Dr Suzie Imber visited pupils last week.
Dr Suzie Imber visited pupils last week.

Students at Walton Girls’ High School found out what it takes to become an astronaut when they were visited by a space scientist.

Dr Suzie Imber, an associate professor at The University of Leicester and the winning contestant on the BBC2 TV series ‘Astronauts: Do You Have What It Takes?’ put the girls through their paces last Thursday to see if they had what it takes to make it as an astronaut.

Dr Imber put the pupils through their paces.
Dr Imber put the pupils through their paces.

Pupils in Years 7-9 took part in a series of fun tests where they had to work in teams to fly and land a drone, coordinate through altered vision googles, build a paper tower structure and do step-ups whilst counting backwards.

Dr Imber also described her time on the show, which saw her take part in a number of mental and physical challenges against 11 other candidates, including escaping from a confined capsule dropped into a pool and being placed in a centrifuge spinning five times at the force of gravity.

She will now receive a personal reference from former Commander of the International Space Station, Chris Hadfield, to be considered as one of the next astronauts at the European Space Agency.

Dr Imber hopes that by sharing her experience, it will inspire pupils to achieve their very best.

She said: “I think one of the most important things we can tell young people is not to be afraid of failure – that is how we all learn and how we become more resilient.”

After meeting Dr Imber, Year 8 pupil, Brooke Leivers is feeling positive about her ambition to be a vet. She said: “It was really inspirational to meet a real astronaut in person. I want to be a vet and her talk made me think that I can do that if I work hard.”

Assistant Principal, Mr Hoad, organised the visit and said: “I thought I was well travelled and then you meet people like Suzie Imber and there is no comparison. She’s an aspirational role model and it’s great to have speakers like Suzie to inspire interest in the sciences.”


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