’18 Stephanie Conners
On Friday, September 25, a group of freshmen and sophomores from the Leading Scholars program went to Great Oaks School to participate in iSpace, a group of different space programs. The founder of iSpace talked to Mercy students about why she opened up the program. She talked about how, as a girl, she was told she couldn’t be an engineer like she wanted to because she was a girl and she started the program to help any kid get excited and learn what it’s like to not only be an engineer but to do whatever she wanted to do. iMission is one of the different simulations that groups can participate in and is what our Mercy students did on Friday. This is an interactive space mission simulation to help students travel to outer space and see if they can survive. Each person is put into various teams and those teams are separated into various space stations but everyone works together for the greater good. The main focus of the program is to use STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) to work through a problem. Before entering the field trip the students filled out applications to decide what position would be the best fit for them. Some examples of jobs to choose were engineers, life support team, and medical team, to name a few. Throughout the simulation each team had many tasks to complete and sometimes emergencies require a certain team to act quickly in order to save everyone. I was on the medical team and a dehydration emergency required me to stop my medical checks on the crew members in order to make sure everyone was hydrated. The engineers were also needed to make an air pipe due to a loss of oxygen. These are two of the emergencies that we experienced in the simulation. Communication and team work were key factors in the program and each space stations is assigned a DATCOM to keep in contact with the other space stations. One of the many things students participating in this program will learn is that in order to have a successful mission everyone needed to do their part in order to progress further and not “die.” The whole simulation, including the intro, mission, and debriefing session was roughly 3 hours. At the debriefing session we all got together to discuss the different things we learned and what we should take away from the experience. This experience was once in a lifetime and was a unique and interesting way to build teamwork and communication skills.