Making estimates about space

Do astronauts cut their hair in space? Recently, I’ve been exploring space in my mathematics classroom. The new curriculum requires students to study mathematics in an unfamiliar context, and the setting of space can provide an engaging way of covering familiar mathematical ideas.Additionally, the new GCSEs in science and design and technology...
  • 31/07/2017
Tim Peake

Exploring the geometry and measures of space exploration

Given he was about as far away from Earth as anyone could be for half of the year, it was hard to escape from Tim Peake in 2016. Whilst the news coverage brought his journey into homes across the country, his mission also had a presence in my mathematics classroom.In December 2015 the Principia mission launched. Tim boarded a Soyuz rocket bound...
Exomars

Amazing Atmospheres with the Institute for Research in Schools

Feynman once said, “The imagination of nature is far, far greater than the imagination of man”.At the Institute for Research in Schools, we believe the imagination of young people is the greatest of them all. The Institute allows secondary school students to contribute to authentic scientific research. We are almost one year old, and have worked...
  • 30/03/2017

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STEM Learning magazine

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News

Counting calories in space

Rockets and spacecraft may get us to Mars, but food must nourish us on the journey. Now researchers are using the International Space Station to look at how much food will be needed on a spacecraft heading to the Moon, Mars or beyond. By tracking the energy used by astronauts, we can count the number of calories humans will need for long flights....

The door has closed on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)

The successor to Hubble has been locked tight inside a giant chamber where it will undergo a series of tests to simulate conditions off Earth.Engineers must first pump out all the air, and then cool down the telescope to fantastically low temperatures.JWST is on track to be launched on a European Ariane rocket in just over a year from now. It will...

Seeing the world with new eyes

On Friday, July 28th, the European Space Agency astronaut, Paolo Nespoli will launch to the International Space Station, with NASA astronaut, Randy Bresnik, and Russian cosmonaut, Sergey Ryazanskiy. An experienced astronaut, at the age of 60, it will be Paolo’s third spaceflight. In June, astronaut Thomas Pesquet returned from his...

Antarctic iceberg: Giant 'white wanderer' poised to break free

A rift has grown across the edge of the Larsen C Ice Shelf.  A thin, 5km-long section of the floating shelf is now all that prevents a 6, 000-sq-km berg from drifting away into the Weddell Sea.That's more than a quarter the area of Wales. There is an estimated 1,155 cubic km of ice in the block.British astronaut Tim Peake...

The 2017 European CanSat competition winners are…

More than one hundred students from all over Europe, including the UK winners GWC CanSat, competed in the finals of the 2017 European CanSat competition, organised by the European Space Agency and hosted by ZARM in Bremen, Germany, which took place from 28 June to 2 July. The winning teams were announced on 1 July. The ‘La...

What Tim did next

Four ESA astronauts are currently training at NASA’s Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Texas. For ESA’s newest astronaut Matthias Maurer, it’s been a chance to inspect a mock-up of NASA’s future space vehicle Orion alongside Tim Peake and Luca Parmitano, both experienced astronauts. Tim and Matthias have undergone spacewalk training in the neutral...

The Tim Peake Primary Project: inspired pupils …and teachers!

On the eve before hearing Tim Peake talk at the UK Space Conference in Manchester, Space Ambassador Sue Andrews looks back on the Tim Peake Primary Project.  Thinking back to my work on the Tim Peake Primary Project, I have just been reading comments from a few children who took part in the project this school year and contemplating how...

Hunt for alien life: atmosphere discovery makes Trappist-1 exoplanet most likely home for life

An Earth-sized world that swings around a star in the constellation of Aquarius has become a priority in the search for extra-terrestrial life after scientists found that an atmosphere could have enveloped the planet for billions of years.The planet is one of seven circling a small star called Trappist-1 which astronomers reported in a wave of...

The Cassini spacecraft dives in between Saturn’s rings

On Wednesday 26 April, the Cassini spacecraft went where no ship has gone before: it begins a series of dives into the space between Saturn and its magnificent rings.The manoeuvre — a series of 22 orbits that will bring Cassini increasingly closer to Saturn’s surface before crashing into it - is called the spacecraft’s “grand finale.”Over its last...

Astro Pi Competition Win For Welsh Team

Four Welsh pupils have become UK winners in the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Astro Pi Competition.Tyler, Jack, Harvey and Oliver, aged 17, from Dyffryn Taf School in Carmarthenshire took their school motto of, “Aim for the highest” literally and became one of five teams across the UK to be recognised as winners of this competition.The ESA’s Astro...

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