Cornelius Vermuyden School Students visit NASA

Mr H Emoni - Lead Practitioner for Mathematics
June 4, 2018

Can you imagine fitting Kennedy Space Centre, Universal studios, Island of Adventure, Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures, Wonderworks, Cocoa Beach and shopping into a single 7-day tour? Guess what! Cornelius Vermuyden School managed to!

Here is my diary of our epic adventure to NASA and tour highlights;

Day 1: Arrive to Orlando

All passengers arrived safely in Orlando, tired after our long journey so sent everyone to bed! Good night!

Day 2: Kennedy Space Center

We headed to Kennedy Space Center. First off to Atlantis - pupils loved the presentation and the simulator. We had lunch with astronaut Sam Durrance. Sam headed into space for two shuttle missions as the principal scientist behind a UV telescope. His story was interesting because his path to becoming an astronaut was through scientific means (he was the physicist behind the telescope) and he was supposed to be going up in the shuttle around the time of the Challenger accident.

We headed to Florida Shopping Mall, many had been waiting for this. Two-hour power shoppers. They did what they set out to do. We reeled them back in and headed to Buca di Beppos for dinner.

Day 3: Salute to Science

We had a meeting with astronaut Scott E. Parazynski who went on four shuttle flights. Scott gave an inspiring presentation before answering numerous questions.

We went in and saw the awe-inspiring Saturn V. It is hard to comprehend how large it is before you see it. The rocket is around 100 m tall and with the most powerful engines ever developed (6 000 000 Newton of thrust in each of the five engines). There was plenty to see at this facility with the moon rocks and the presentation on the final moments of the moon landing being the highlights.

Building a Rover! Pupils worked in teams to create a rover prototype vehicle. We, the teachers, were impressed with how well the groups collaborated, communicated and innovated.

We had a bus tour of Cape Canaveral. The team visited NASA and SpaceX launch pads. Pupils were totally inspired!

‘Outta control magic comedy dinner’ at Wonderworks was a perfect way to end a very busy day.

Day 4: Universal Studios

An action-packed day at Universal Studios, Orlando. Pupils were straight into the park, even the teachers gave it all a go! Dinner was at Margaritaville.

Day 5: Island of Adventure

Pupils had an Educational tour, this included going behind the adventure to see the engineering behind the Spiderman 4D ride. Pupils enjoyed using their VIP passes to go on rides before exploring Harry Porter world, Jurassic park etc.

Dinner was at the famous Hard Rock Café.

Day 6: Boggy Creek Airboats and Departure

The students enjoyed the unique Boggy Creek Airboat Adventure, exploring the Florida Everglades and seeing the Florida alligator in its natural environment. This adventure was sure not to disappoint - we saw a record number of gators. After the airboat ride we sat and listened to 'Two Snakes Big Mountain' a Native American who told us about how they lived in tune with the land and nothing was wasted in their living.

Day 7: Arrive home

On the journey home, I asked a few pupils about their week in Orlando;

“It’s been an amazing and inspiring trip.” – Nathan (Year 10)

“This is the best holiday ever; I’ve visited Florida with my family but this has been different. I have learnt so much” – Scarlett (Year 9)

“This trip surpassed all my expectations” – Ben (Year 10)

The trip exceeded all of our expectations. It really was the most incredible educational experience we've all had to date.

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Able Children in England

Cornelius Vermuyden are an official member of NACE (National association of Able Children in England).

Not only does this partnership support our development of our highest achieving pupils, it supports the development of every pupil in the school. We are committed to ensuring that a high level of challenge exists in the classroom in every lesson and to help potential convert to success and happiness for our pupils. We are firm believers that "rising tides lift all ships" and that if all students have a daily diet of challenging experiences at school and beyond, then this will help support their educational and personal development as learners and as people. Yet, as our 2016 GCSE results showed, those who come to us classed as more able achieve incredible results – for example, Callum Cuthbert leaving the school with 11 A* grades is an achievement that is not just well above the national average in terms of progress and achievement, but one that should be celebrated in terms of the school's work with its high achieving pupils.

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