Weymouth students took part in a multi-school 'trip of a lifetime' to the NASA space centre in the US.

Students from Budmouth Academy were given the chance to travel all the way to Houston, Texas to visit the Johnson Space Centre.

The trip was designed for Year 12 students and was organised through the Aspirations Academies Trust’s Space Education Adventure Programme.

The trust represents 16 academies across the south of England and its space programme aims to encourage underrepresented groups to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Budmouth Academy student, Jess, said: “Coming to NASA has been a once in a lifetime experience.

“It’s really motivated me to think about what I want from a career in the future.”

The students were invited onto a guided tour of the space centre’s museum where they learned about the history of NASA and the American space program

It also included a chance to view exhibits from the Apollo moon missions, the Space Shuttle program, and the International Space Station. 

A tram tour then took the group to the mission control centre, the rocket park, and the space vehicle mock-up facility, where the teenagers learned how NASA flight controllers monitor and control spacecraft missions.

They were able to see the Saturn V rocket that took Apollo 11 to the moon as well as a full-scale re-creation of the Space Shuttle Discovery.

In addition to the tours, the students enjoyed interactive experiences and conversations with astronauts and engineers who offered advice and guidance on careers in aerospace technology. 

The ten day trip also included visits to local schools to collaborate with students on STEM-based design projects and to Rice University where they dropped in on lectures covering astrophysics, and attended a high school American football match.

Trip leader, Simon Sterland, said: “We’re keen that the students should experience as much as they can while they’re here.

 “Aspirations Academies Trust places the kind of project-based learning that goes on here at the heart of the education it offers in its academies.

“I think the students get a real sense when they’re in Houston of exactly how important it is.

"It’s been great to see them working with their American counterparts, immersed in a different culture. The meals out and the shopping have also been very popular.”