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An out-of-this-world Y6 Space Week

Published on 04/07/18

An exciting account of Space Week at the Junior School!

Monday arrived with a bang. It was the start of Space Week and Year 6 were off to the National Space Centre in Leicester. Upon arrival, we were stunned by the enormous rocket shaped building that towered over the centre. The contents were amazing - there were actually two rockets, a probe and a satellite.

The day was filled with activities, exhibitions and a mesmerising show in the planetarium all about astronauts. Did you know that it takes up to 30 minutes to put on a space suit?

In one gallery, we had the opportunity to weigh ourselves on different planets and we could also try to lift a can of baked beans in a system that replicated the gravity on different planets - it was virtually impossible to lift the beans on Jupiter and the Sun. We also enjoyed being futuristic weather forecasters, using a green screen in the Weather Pod. This was a great start to Space Week!

The mission control where we had to give instructions on what to do was my favourite part. It was fun to see how they would really have had to listen to and follow the instructions. Aaran

I liked sitting in an actual shuttle and seeing how the buttons worked and what it would be like travelling into space. The planetarium was really interesting: it felt like you were actually in space. Millie and Ana
I enjoyed having time to read the information in the different parts of the centre. It was very interesting and I learnt a lot. Charles

Space Week

On Wednesday, we were honoured to host Dr Matt Bothwell from Cambridge University’s Institute of Astronomy for a lecture about the universe and our place within it. Dr Bothwell, who has pursued research on the evolution of galaxies, started by speaking about the distance between the Earth and Moon. Using a basketball, a tennis ball and a volunteer he created a scale model to give us a perspective on how far apart they really are. Models and analogies like this proved very helpful throughout the talk to give the audience a handle on the dizzying sizes, distances, numbers and ages involved, when discussing the billions of planets, stars and galaxies which make up our universe. Year 6 pupils were clearly inspired and excited by what they were hearing, as shown by a regular stream of searching questions, all of them answered with authority and appropriate clarity by Dr Bothwell. While the lecture progressed, two meteorites were passed around the audience and holding tiny ancient pieces of the solar system clearly had quite an impact on the pupils. We are very grateful to Dr Bothwell for taking the time to come and speak to us and for helping to inspire a new generation keen to seek out the mysteries of the universe.

I really enjoyed the astronomy lecture because I learned lots of new things about space, such as the really long distances involved. Thinking how big everything is made me feel really small. Amelia F

The most memorable part of Space Week was the lecture by Dr Matt Bothwell. I enjoyed this because it was very informative and explanatory. The fact which intrigued me especially was that the Moon used to be part of the Earth. Ishita

The astronomy lecture gave a spectacular insight into cosmology! Frank

As well as the trip to the wonderfully innovative and fascinating Space Centre and Dr Bothwell’s stimulating lecture, Year 6’s Space Week was made up of a number of different assignments or ‘space missions’. These included a debate on who won the Space Race, a close up focus on planetary data and the chance to write narrative poetry on what it might be like to be an astronaut.

I really enjoyed doing Space Missions Delta and Gamma because they allowed us to use Maths in a space context and I want to be an astrophysicist when I grow up. Alfie

I really enjoyed creating Space Poetry because it involved coming up with descriptive words in a group, ordering them by relevance and also describing the pictures. Abbey H

Space Mission Alpha, a combination of creative and critical thinking, saw our pupils planning a trip to a new colony on Planet Mars. If this was your responsibility, what laws might you impose, who would you to choose to accompany you (Tim Peake perhaps?) and what luxuries might you bring with you on your expedition? These were all aspects of the trip that Year 6 had to consider.

I liked planning the trip to Mars because it involved collaborating with a partner to see what they would take on the mission and hear their different opinions. I liked having space activities every day because there was such a variety of things to do. Ben

What a week that was! Year 6 all agreed that Space Week was a highlight for them and an integrated learning week that they won’t forget in a hurry.

I really enjoyed Space Week because there was such a wide range of activities which were all very well related to space. Nicholas

by Mrs Long, Mrs Vagh and Mr West

Tagged STEM Junior School