Opinions

Reaching for the stars

How one teacher’s journey to bring space into the classroom led her to be recognised by the Royal Astronomical Society.Jenny Lister is a primary school teacher at St George the Martyr Primary School in London and has recently been awarded the Patrick Moore medal from the Royal Astronomical Society.We chatted to her about how she has used the...


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Ten activities for World Space Week

One of the questions at a Tim Peake event I attended recently asked about when there would be astronauts on Mars. Obviously, no-one knows for certain when this will be, but Tim put on the spot, gave an estimate of late 2030’s.This is not that far away and for the audience, including the many children there, it could well happen in our lifetime....


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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...


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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...


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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...


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Mission X: Mission Ex-cellent! - an update

The Evington Astronauts have now completed 4 of the Level 1 activities, and we are having a blast!We started with ‘Speed of light’, which was interesting, because we initially thought that we would see youth ‘out- do’ the oldie teachers in this task. In actual fact we realised that this wasn’t necessarily so, with a couple of teachers having much...


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Women in space: challenge your ideas of who science is for

I was told from a young age I could do what I wanted with my life. My parents and teachers were wonderfully supportive and keen to point me in the direction of all sorts of opportunities.Still it bugged me as a young teenager when I would get asked again and again what I wanted to do when I grew up. One day, in frustration, I blurted out that I...


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Schools rocket into spring with the Tim Peake Primary Project

We are only just in March, and yet primary schools up and down the country have launched themselves into the Tim Peake Primary Project.From Sunderland to the South West, pupils are getting to grips with designs for a new space station, extra-terrestrial eating and Alka-Seltzer rockets and models of the moon. Here’s a round-up of the...


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Four ways to bring the night sky into your classroom this Winter

Many people don’t like the long dark nights that winter brings, but when they’re clear, they can be one of the most beautiful sights in the natural world.There’s something amazing about looking up at a clear night sky. Nothing captures my imagination quite like looking at thousands of stars and imagining the worlds which might be orbiting them.The...


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Does antimatter matter?

Just before Christmas, I was lucky enough to join a group of teachers on one of STEM Learning’s visits to CERN, Geneva. Along with inspiring lectures, a visit to the Large Hadron Collider, and some excellent rösti and fondue, we also went to an antimatter factory. Apart from being housed in a large warehouse, on what looks like an...


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