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1. Resources for educators and parents to use in school or at home
Looking for space-related learning activities? Have a look at some of the ideas we’re drawing together below.
2. Recommended resources:
2.1 The UK space education office
The UK branch of the European Space Education Resource Office (ESERO-UK) provides free resources, support and information for teachers, leaders and parents to enhance the teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) using space as a context. From How to plan and run your own space week to GCSE Astronomy, there are many resources spanning Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) to post-16 and higher education. Curriculum-linked resources can be found on the ESERO-UK website.
Five school projects for the 2021-22 school year are:
2.2 James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)
The UK Space Agency funds a variety of space missions and programmes. One of the missions we’re involved in is the James Webb Space Telescope, due to launch on 18 December 2021. This is a collaboration between NASA, ESA and the Canadian Space Agency. Our main contribution has been leading the European Consortium that designed and constructed one of the four science instruments, the Mid-InfraRed Instrument (MIRI), in partnership with JPL.
Take a look at the James Webb Space Telescope UK website where you’ll learn about the science and the questions it will help us answer, the technology and the people involved across the UK.
There’s also a Resource Network where you can access learning resources suitable for schools, families and anyone else with an interest. The resources for schools are linked to the UK primary and secondary curricula.
For further information, visit our James Webb Space Telescope case study page.
2.3 STEM Ambassadors
If you’d like someone to support you, your class, school or club, please request one of our STEM ambassadors to visit, run space-related activities or take part in a video call, give a talk or careers advice. Please apply here: Find a STEM Ambassador. It’s simple to register and free. Perhaps ask for a space sector ambassador for your specific requirements.
2.4 Children’s Radio UK
‘Deep Space High – Space Curriculum’ is an audio and online project to engage children and help them see that whatever their favourite subject is at school, space careers are open to them. Through a series of short audio programmes broadcast on Fun Kids, the UK’s radio station for children, and for podcast, it will be shown that whether it’s music, geography or physics, Space is For All.
To listen to the short programmes and view the resources visit: www.funkidslive.com/deep-space-high
2.5 Spaceport UK
The UK is planning to develop several spaceports to launch rockets carrying satellites into space. This resource contains eight activities, which look at the development of a UK spaceport and the launch of satellites into Earth orbit. They link to aspects of geography, science and engineering.
To download the resources for primary school children, go to Spaceport UK
2.6 Public Appearance Request Organisation System (PAROS).
If you’re looking to contact an ESA astronaut, maybe to request a Skype or email interview or a public appearance, send in a request via the PAROS website. (Please note, Tim Peake is on a sabbatical from ESA.)
2.7 Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS)
Your school may wish to speak with astronauts onboard the International Space Station. If so, please apply for a facilitated amateur radio contact through the ARISS website.
2.8 Borrow the Moon
Would you like to borrow real moon rock and meteorites for your school or class? Take a look at the Lunar Rocks and Meteorites Loan Scheme from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).
2.9 Careers resources
Information about careers in space can be found on the following websites:
2.10 Tim Peake: Principia
The UK Space Agency created an education programme in support of British ESA astronaut Tim Peake’s Principia Mission to the International Space Station in 2015/16.
The Great British Space Dinner is a programme of lessons and study linked to Key Stages 1 and 2. They are freely available to download from ESERO-UK.
Space to Earth Challenge is a set of resources related to astronaut Tim Peake and training in space available to download from ESERO-UK.
Tim returned to Earth on 18 June 2016 yet the legacy of the Principia Mission and its education programme continues. All the Principia education resources are available for teachers, students and the public online.
2.11 Curved House Kids – Discovery Diaries
Curved House Kids have opened up the Discovery Diaries resource portal to everyone, everywhere. No need to register or log in, just visit discoverydiaries.org and start downloading free, fun and empowering primary science activities.
2.12 The National Space Academy
The National Space Academy engages young people with STEM subjects using the inspirational context of space. The academy has educational resources available for use.
Astro Academy: Principia is a project which includes a set of resources, produced by the National Space Academy and partners, used to demonstrate fundamental aspects of physics and chemistry. Orbital experiments were conducted by British astronaut Tim Peake aboard the International Space Station. For more information visit the National Space Academy.
3. Additional resources:
3.1 Tim Talks Space
Watch the UK Space Agency’s YouTube channel to catch up on the ‘Tim Talks Space’ video series with astronaut Tim Peake and guests.
3.2 Get pictures from the ISS and learn about radio communication!
Would you like to receive pictures directly from the International Space Station (ISS) and become a radio communication pro? Then watch this instructional video, prepared by the ESA Education team with several of its ESERO Offices and other international partners, such as Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) and the Goonhilly Earth Station.
3.3 The UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres (ASDC)
The ASDC brings together over 60 major science engagement organisations in the UK. It is running a national STEM programme called Destination Space! Try out some mission modules at home.
Further information and resources are available through the following links:
3.4 The Scout Association
There are also other activities connected to the Scouts Astronautics Activity Badge which you could try:
3.5 Oak National Academy
The Oak National Academy launched a series of resources and lessons supporting both teachers and parents. Search the website for online lessons, across different key stages, about the seasons, the Moon, the solar system, stars and constellations, space, the Universe, satellites and rockets.
Oak also held assemblies during the 2020 summer term. Assembly 3: Discovery included an interview with the first British astronaut, Helen Sharman, talking about her experience of a lifetime when she visited the Mir Space Station.
Assembly 9: Space included a talk with the UK Space Agency’s Libby Jackson, Human Exploration Programme Manager, talking about life on Mars and more.
3.6 Escape from the International Space Station!
Need some new ideas for science lessons for the kids? Do you think you can escape from the International Space Station? Solve science, maths and English puzzles to get the code for the escape pod and learn about satellites along the way! The University of Leeds and SENSE (Centre for Satellite Data in Environmental Science) present Escape from the International Space Station!
3.7 The Astro Science Challenge
This is an interactive, space science adventure for children aged 7 to 11, designed by the Unlimited Space Agency (UNSA), to inspire them in STEM subjects. Download the app (or use the free desktop version) from astrosciencechallenge.com
British astronaut Tim Peake features in the accompanying videos and the live broadcasts which have been archived to watch on catch-up on YouTube.
3.8 AR Adventure in Space
Octagon Studio, in cooperation with Venture Thinking and the UK Space Agency, has released the free-to-download AR Adventure in Space app that lets you explore the International Space Station in Augmented Reality (AR) with Tim Peake as your guide.
3.9 Astro Tim
Join British ESA astronaut Tim Peake on the International Space Station. Share his mission moments and take up his challenge to exercise with him at 28,000 kilometres per hour, 400km above the Earth! From Octagon Studio, the Astro Tim AR app is free to download.