Week 2 – Strasbourg

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It’s getting serious!

We have ended the second week of the Space Studies Programme. A week filled with core lectures given by lecturers from all over the world, from World-leading institutions in their respective fields. This week, the Strasbourg site was hosting presentations by Gary Martin, Virginia Wotring, Walter Peeters, Nityaporn Sirikan, and Barbara Imhof – an incredible variety of fascinating speakers. We were learning about all of the aspects of space exploration – from planetary science, orbit mechanics, space environment, interstellar flight, human performances in space to space business, law and policy!

Human Adaptation and Countermeasures lecture by Virginia Wotring, ISU HPS Professor

Major Space Players lecture by Claire Jolly

This week was also a week when departmental activities were presented by the Teaching Associates. We have seven departments – Space Applications (APPS), Engineering (ENG), Human Performance in Space (HPS), Humanities (HUM), Space Business and Management (MGB), Policy, Economy and Law (PEL) and SCIENCE (SCI).

Each of the departments, together with their planned activities, guest lecturers and professional visits were presented to participants, and they had around 24 hours to make their decision, what will be their area of focus (including individual or small group project) for the next 4 weeks. After that, we will have one more occasion to deepen our knowledge in a more specific field – with electives! But that’s for later – one step at a time.

Our Teaching Associates passionately presenting Departmental Activities

Astronaut-like Team Training

Speaking of steps! On Wednesday we had a final run of the Rube Goldberg Machine. Participants were divided into six groups and were given a task to build a chain reaction-type machine, with whatever they can find (without using any money!). The goal was to transfer a ball from the very begging to the very end. The number of ideas and approaches was absolutely outstanding! And in the final stage, all six systems were connected, and act as one huge machine. AND IT WORKED!!!


Building Rube Goldberg machines – building team spirit

This kind of exercise, besides the great amount of fun, are incredible and powerful team-building training – similar to ones that astronauts experience during their training!

And also it’s a perfect opportunity to really enjoy the internationality of the participants and their interdisciplinary and intercultural backgrounds!

All participants during the Rube Goldberg grand finale

Intercultural Nights

And that leads to another intercultural and international experience – our intercultural nights! During the first weeks of the programme, we have a weekly intercultural night, at the end of the week. Participants give presentations about their countries, talking about food, traditions, nature, politics, history, entertainment… basically anything that can bring their colleagues a little bit closer to their cultures. And the best part – presentations are followed by amazing food prepared by participants, and maybe a few drinks as well 😉

What a ride! Cannot wait for the next week!

Monika Brandić Lipińska

Ping-pong, soccer, cooking, presenting – intercultural nights are fascinating!

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