Live from the International Space Station (ISS) and from Lord Selkirk Elementary School in Vancouver, Canadian astronauts David Saint-Jacques and Joshua Kutryk launched the Astro Pi Challenge for young students.
Astro Pi is an annual science and coding competition event organized by the European Space Agency. In the competition, students develop code that run on Raspberry Pi computers, nicknamed Astro Pi’s on the ISS.
In Canada, and coinciding with astronaut David Saint-Jacques six month mission on the International Space Station, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and Kids Code Jeunesse are collaborating on this years challenge.
There are two levels of competition available in the Astro Pi Challenge, neither require coding experience.
For Mission Zero, student teams write a simple program to display a message on the Astro Pi computer to astronauts on board the Space Station. No special equipment or coding skills are needed, and all entries that follow program rules are guaranteed to be run in space!
Mission Space Lab
For Mission Space Lab, students design and program a scientific experiment to be run on an Astro Pi computer. The best experiments will be deployed on the ISS, and teams will have the opportunity to analyze and report on the results.
According to the CSA, Kids Code Jeunesse is organizing workshops in science centres and museums across the country and providing online resources so that any classroom can take part.