Five adventurous young people from rural Northumberland successfully constructed an Observatory Space Agency for their third Key project with dreams of inspiring local young people to learn about stars through their very own eyes.
Alex, Calvin, Robbie, Robert and Sarah met at school in Northumberland and found that they had a shared interest in all things space and astronomy. So after joining their school’s space club, the young people, aged 16-19, decided to begin their Key adventure and suitably name their Key group KEVI Space Agency (KEVISA).
KEVISA successfully completed their first two Key stages which helped to advance their passion by releasing a weather balloon into space and purchasing rockets to launch as a team for stages 1 and 2. Although challenging, the group loved the opportunity to engage in The Key Framework and plan projects that they were interested in. With this in mind, the group made the big leap into Stage 3, where they had big hopes of furthering their love of space by taking some old disused land and turning it into their very own space observatory fit for the local community.
The utterly ambitious project was far from easy for the group and it required great team work from the youngsters. In order to get the project planned and budgeted in time for panel, the group needed to agree their responsibilities and see them through. So with Calvin in charge of communications, Alex in charge of organisation and structural design and Sarah, Robert and Robbie in charge of recruiting building volunteers, sourcing materials and finances, the group got to work at speed!
Despite sharing the responsibilities amongst each other, the group soon found that their fantastic project wasn’t easy work as the young people initially struggled to source durable materials to make sure the observatory was a long lasting legacy for future students. With a budget of just £1,000, the group really had to get creative with their finances by negotiating prices and sourcing free recycled materials to keep their costs down and stay within the black line.
Alongside their new found problem solving and negotiation skills, the KEVI Space Agency group also felt that their ability to cope with stress and tension and manage their time and energy had significantly improved too, as each group member had to work around their tight schedules of school work, revision and observatory planning.
The project had been a ‘long term ambition [for the] group of students’ since beginning The Key Framework and the group were thrilled to be given the opportunity to fulfill their dream after being successful at panel.
After working tirelessly over summer and recruiting their peers and friends to help with the build, the group got their observatory up and running in no time and after their big launch event which attracted the local press, keen members of the public and the Morpeth Town Mayor, the group started to give something back to their local community by opening the Observatory for others to use and sharing their knowledge of space and stars with local primary and secondary school students through their own interactive astronomy lessons.
Well done KEVISA! To see the group build their observatory click here.