The Partner Schools Science Program was established in 2002 by our late Founder, Kaya Tuncer, and ESBAŞ Chairwoman of the Board, Mary Tuncer, in order to bring children from all over the world together with Turkish students.

The Partner Schools Science Program (PSSP), which started in 2002 and set out with the goal of global friendship, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

Within the year-long program, participants from different countries take part in an international project and receive STEAM-based education on space sciences. This education may even affect the future career plans of the participants. Thanks to the Space Camp Turkey Group Manager, Mr. Tolga Yıldırım, the program took its current form over the years, and has been continuing for 20 years without deviating from its goal.

 

Within the program, an impossible feat was achieved with the technological conditions of that day, and 179 video conferences were held among NASA, partner school, and Space Camp Turkey.

Although NASA's Digital Learning Network system was shut down in 2015, Space Camp Turkey, which took quick action under the leadership of Mr. Tolga Yıldırım, established its own Digital Learning Center in the same year. The center has held more than 1,400 video conferences since 2015 with NASA-based educational packages and aims to increase this number to over 2000 with the participation of different countries.

The program brought students together from different countries such as the USA, England, Italy, and Poland with Turkish students in the field of space sciences and STEAM for one academic year. Afterwards, students from partner schools had the opportunity to meet face-to-face at Space Camp Turkey during the 6-day summer camp program, which was held under the name of E-Pal week. There was an utterly different excitement in the 2 different E-Pal weeks held this year. The 20th anniversary of the program was celebrated with great enthusiasm.

 

Students, who carried out researches and projects on the subjects they decided together with their teachers among from 10 training packages such as Mission Patches, Toys in Space, Solar System Vacation, and Planet Hunters, visited Space Camp Turkey on the weeks June 19-25 and June 26 - July 2.

  

As part of the events, the participants prepared their stands and gave presentations in order to show the studies they carried out throughout the year to other PSSP participants. Among the projects, there were many futuristic and realistic projects such as magnificent mission patches, toys that can be played with easily in a microgravity environment, and future space station models.

Arno den Toom, a plant biotechnologists and Space Camp Turkey alumni gave a magnificent presentation on growing plants in outer space, on the Moon, and on Mars, to the PSPP participants at Space Camp Turkey.

In the studies carried out with the Turkish Radio Amateurs Association (Izmir Branch), presentations were given about the amateur radio station used in the space station and amateur radio. Afterwards, participants from different countries had the opportunity to establish a radio connection with amateur radio operators in their own countries. During this amazing activity, the campers learned how to use the radio and how to become an amateur radio operator.

During the Special Events Night, prepared for campers to introduce their own cultures to the other campers from different countries, campers both had fun and experienced cultural exchange through local dances of Poland, presentation of cities of Romania, the history of Slovenia and Turkish traditions.

Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of PSSP at the barbecue party, the last event held before graduation, the campers had fun with today's hit songs and local songs, and had the opportunity to exchange small souvenirs they brought with them.

 

Participants, receiving a certificate of participation in the Partner Schools Science Program and the certificate of participation to Space Camp Turkey during graduation ceremony, were also awarded with team awards and individual awards. Once again, we congratulate all of our campers who participated in the Partner Schools Science Program for one academic year and graduated from the program by participating in the special E-Pal Week held at Space Camp Turkey!

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