Patrician Brothers’ College Blacktown students headed for NASA


Patrician Brothers’ College Blacktown students are still coming to grips with the gravity of their win at last month’s Australian Space Design Competition.

At their first attempt at the crown, the team of 12 joined forces with two other schools at the University of Queensland to book a trip to the home of all things space — NASA headquarters at Cape Canaveral, Florida in July.

Team leader Pinak Sharma said the group had 27 hours to plan and pitch to a panel of judges designs for a settlement for 600 people to clear debris orbiting Earth.

L-R Patrician Brothers’ College students Ben Cooper, 16, Pinak Sharma, 17, and Dev Saldanha, 16. (AAP IMAGE/ Angelo Velardo)

“It wasn’t just about science and engineering, it was about management, organisation and communication,” the Year 12 student said.

One teammate, Jordan Padzjara, took out the Dick Edwards Silent Leadership Award for excellence in teamwork.

The boys worked with students Brisbane’s St Aiden’s Anglican Girls School and Calvary Christian College to win the national title on January 20. In July they will be teaming up with schools from around the globe at the international finals.

Pinak Sharma (left) and the space design team. (AAP IMAGE/ Angelo Velardo)

Principal Santo Passarello said the result was a “remarkable achievement by a humble school in western Sydney”.

“We are incredibly proud of these young men. They are a credit to their school, their Blacktown community and their families,” he said.

Teacher and lead advisor Chris Hersey said the boys were confident of taking out the world title.

But the school now has to raise about $70,000 to ensure all 12 students can make it to the Kennedy Space Centre.


Posted By Heath Parkes-Hupton | Blacktown Advocate at 5/02/2019 10:19:52 AM

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