Students in Northern Ireland hoping for careers in the exciting and increasingly important space sector now can pursue a course targeting their needs. The Council for the Curriculum Examinations & Assessment’s new QCF Level 2 Space Science Technology qualification has been accredited by Ofqual and is available for first teaching from September 2013 and first assessment in June 2014. It is aimed at giving learners aged 14-16 the chance to learn about the latest skills and practices relevant to the emerging UK Space Sector.
Learners will explore:
- the life cycle of stars;
- human space travel;
- Dark Skies initiatives;
- satellite technology; and
- composite materials,
as well as a wealth of topics closer to home such as:
- climate change;
- weather monitoring;
- geo-referencing; and
- earth observation projects.
Many of the topics studied will have a local perspective, helping learners become better equipped to meet the needs of Northern Ireland’s economy in an international context.
What skills are developed?
Learners in the Space Science Technology qualification will build upon their existing skills in science, maths, engineering and ICT, and will use their new-found knowledge to solve real-life problems. They will be encouraged to consider and debate the ethical issues associated with the development of information and communication technologies, and to present their findings with others in imaginative ways, using contemporary online communication tools.
With the UK space sector growing by 10% per year, and employment in this industry rising at 15% per year, this qualification provides a real opportunity for Northern Ireland’s learners to learn about this exciting and rapidly-growing sector.
(Original text from Eleanore Thomas, CCEA)