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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 June, 2004, 10:20 GMT 11:20 UK
Pupils attend Nasa space school
International Space Station
Nasa astronauts will be on hand to offer their insight
Ninety school pupils are set to take part in Scotland's first residential space school.

Nasa and European Space Agency astronauts are in Glasgow to help youngsters learn more about science, technology and enterprise.

The science pupils have been selected to take part in the summer school.

They have completed a learning programme developed by Nasa and will now attend a nine-day course to develop their interest.

All of the pupils have shown a strong ability and interest in science subjects.

Sophie Mason, 17, from Kelvinside Academy, said she liked the stars when she was younger and wanted to find out more about space.

Anything you can imagine Michael Jordan doing on a basketball court, you can do better because you don't have any gravity
Terry Willcott
"It's the thought that there is other stuff out there apart from us," she said.

The students will hear space-related lectures from two Nasa astronauts who have been on four flights each and a Frenchman who has taken part in three missions.

The astronauts will also visit Glasgow Science Centre and BAE Systems in Edinburgh.

It is hoped the course will encourage the youngsters to pursue their interest in science subjects and influence their possible career choices.

'Spectacular view'

Nasa astronaut Terry Willcott described being in space as a magical experience.

"Anything you can imagine Michael Jordan doing on a basketball court, you can do better because you don't have any gravity," he said.

"Anything you can imagine an Olympic gymnast doing, you can do better.

"The view out the window of Earth is spectacular, really breathtaking. It gives you an appreciation of our world and how we need to co-operate and take care of it."

The failed trip to Mars should not be a signal to stop trying to learn new things about space, he added.

Peer group message

Scottish Space School Director Alex Blackwood said the astronauts would encourage youngsters to continue to follow a similar career path.

He said: "Youngsters think the Nasa link is a catch for young people and it inspires them because they see it on the television.

"They think astronauts are different, when in fact, they are really down to Earth and who understand the importance of studying, education and science."

Mr Blackwood said he hoped the pupils would take a message back to their peer group that science is interesting and important.

Laura Maciver reports
"A number of astronauts will be on hand to give first-hand accounts"

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