Are we alone?: the search for planets beyond our solar system

This exciting resource consists of nine practical activities based upon the search for exoplanets, (planets beyond our own solar system), where life may exist. Aimed at primary children aged 7–11, activities are based around working scientifically  and link to many aspects of the science curriculum including; space, light, states of matter, living things and their environment, evolution and inheritance, animals, including humans, forces and magnets, electricity, materials and sound. They also provide opportunities for links to computing, English and mathematics.

Children take on the roles such as galactic astronomers, astrobiologists and radio engineers, so also learn about careers the space industry can offer. The lessons may be taught individually and in any order, and contain easy to follow instructions. They are:

  • To infinity and beyond- Plotting the orbits of planets in our own and distant solar systems
  • Signs of life- Searching for life on planets beyond our solar system
  • Atmospheric- A unique fingerprint of an exoplanet
  • ‘Not too hot, not too cold’-The Goldilocks Zone
  • In transit- Detecting exoplanets by measuring a dip in light
  • May the force be with you- Magnetic fields
  • Can you hear me?- Communication through space
  • Making music ‘exoplanet style’
  • Exoplanet travel bureau- Exploring alien worlds

This resource has been produced by ESERO-UK.

Show health and safety information

Please be aware that resources have been published on the website in the form that they were originally supplied. This means that procedures reflect general practice and standards applicable at the time resources were produced and cannot be assumed to be acceptable today. Website users are fully responsible for ensuring that any activity, including practical work, which they carry out is in accordance with current regulations related to health and safety and that an appropriate risk assessment has been carried out.

Author(s)Sue Andrews
Published by
Shelf referenceA ESA 523.1 AND
Direct URL

This is a physical resource. Come and visit the National STEM Learning Centre library to see it.

Find out more about the Centre