These two major companies are thinking outside the box and encouraging future astronauts to participate in their combined project. The companies, the Airbus Foundation and Autodesk Inc., want to inspire students to pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers, with the Discovery Space, a digital portal with educational animations and interactive aerospace-themed lessons in 3D design. The site’s interactive curriculum brings aerospace into the classroom by teaching students about space exploration, including what it takes to survive in space and fly a mission to the moon.
The Airbus Foundation Discovery Space project offers students the opportunity to build their own virtual spacecraft in Autodesk Tinkercad and Autodesk Fusion 360 software, factoring in parameters such as robustness to break through Earth’s atmosphere, trajectory and impact for landing on the moon. Students can also build portfolios and submit designs to win the “Mission to the Moon” challenge. In addition, the Airbus Foundation Discovery Space project includes downloadable videos and step-by-step guides inspiring future engineers.
Mary Hope McQuiston, Vice President, Education Experiences, Autodesk added that technology is changing how people design and make things and with the launch of Discovery Space, they’re joining the Airbus Foundation in helping the next generation strengthen the skills needed for the jobs of tomorrow. These interactive space exploration projects not only teach students how to use 3D design software, but also the skills and mindset that will be so critical in the future, including being curious, resilient and collaborative.
The Discovery Space website compliments the Foundation’s onsite STEM programs, like the Airbus Foundation Discovery Space at Stevenage, United Kingdom, a site-specific installation where young people can discover aerospace through hands-on experiences.
Please click here for a video with Tom Enders and Mary Hope McQuiston talking about their passion for aerospace and the Airbus Foundation Discovery Space.