Secondary school students exploring careers in the space industry: A South Australian work experience program

Sarah J. Baker, David Curtis, Sandra Moran

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We describe a space industry work experience program and report on the design, implementation, and evaluation of this program, including its purposes, organisation, participants – hosts and students – and its outcomes. The program was a collaboration between the South Australian Department for Education, the South Australian Space Industry Centre, universities, and space sector enterprises. We found that the program was in-demand among students, although places at this stage are quite limited. It was well-received by participating industry partners, all of whom indicated an intention to continue their involvement in the program. Student placements were designed to be immersive, but the extent of this varied between what might be described as work-shadowing through to structured and challenging project work. The most challenging and structured placements were highly valued by students and were more effective for informing an academic stream of student participants about the range of space industry careers currently available. Implications for future work experience placements are drawn for the organisation and structure of placement programs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-370
Number of pages23
JournalIssues in Educational Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2021


  • Space industry
  • work experience program
  • Career exploration
  • South Australian Space Industry Centre
  • South Australian Department for Education
  • space sector enterprises
  • student placements


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