Part of Salford City College Group

This week students from Pendleton Sixth Form College were joined by three members of NASA for a week of space-themed lectures and activities. Lou Mayo, Troy Cline and Blair Allen from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre spent the week with our students, educating them on all things space. 

Students from across the College’s renowned STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Department joined the trio to discover a range of space exploration techniques and technologies, as well as engaging talks uncovering the search for extra-terrestrial life and how ‘we are not alone’. 

The team set up their mobile space lab in our Lower Digital Learning Zone (the Pendleton Space Flight Centre), where our students discovered more about the latest in space exploration technology and tracked a range of solar activity.

The mobile space lab was set up by Troy Cline, of NASA’s STEM Innovation Lab at the Goddard Space Flight Centre. The lab is a creative space with an emphasis on space science content applications. It brings together NASA scientists, engineers and educators to explore and develop new ideas related to the infusion of educational technology into STEM activities, programs and approaches.

Chief Executive Tom Stannard from Salford City Council said: “It was my pleasure to meet representatives from NASA and welcome them to Salford. There is a real benefit for the young people of Salford to have access to the kind of experience and knowledge this team has. I’m sure the students of Pendleton Sixth Form College will get so much out of these links and take advantage of this unique visit. We’re always keen to seek out ways to inspire the young people of Salford and this is a great example of that in practice. It really is great to see this ongoing relationship the city has with NASA continuing and I’m sure there will be more opportunities to strengthen this in the future.”

Lindsey Abbott, the Head of Centre of Excellence for STEM at the College said: “We are incredibly privileged and proud to have formed such a unique and enriching partnership with NASA. The visit has provided an outstanding learning opportunity for our students and the team have been a true inspiration to our young people.”

“Our students and the wider Salford community have had such an incredible experience, both in lectures and through practical lessons and workshops in the mobile space lab.”

Joining Troy was Lou Mayo, an astronomer working for ADNET Systems at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre. His primary research involves infrared remote sensing of the outer planets. He was also a member of both the Voyager and Cassini infrared science instrument teams.

Victoria Kielty, College Principal at Pendleton Sixth Form College, commented: “Our unique NASA partnership has provided our students with such an incredible and enriching opportunity. We are incredibly proud of this strong industry link and look forward to welcoming the team back to the College again soon.” 

The trio ended the week by unveiling a plaque to celebrate the College’s 50th Anniversary. Amy Vaughan, Deputy College Principal, added: “We are extremely proud of the College’s long-standing commitment to delivering educational excellence to the young people of Salford and are delighted that our colleagues from NASA were able to join us for this celebration.” 

Cllr. Stephen Coen of Salford City Council added: “The special relationship with our friends at NASA continues to grow and influence Salford’s young people and inspire our future Scientists and future Astronauts through their work at Pendleton Sixth Form College.”

If you would like to find out more about studying at Pendleton Sixth Form College, please visit or call our Admissions Team on 0161 631 5050.