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Computers and maths in space

Mathematics plays a vital part in space flight, it gives us a way both to predict what should happen in the future and also ways to measure what’s actually happening in the present, and adapt to it. In this resource we look at a few places where maths helps in space flight. The maths is made simple here (it’s far,...

Building Images

In this activity, students create colour images from satellite data. This allows them to study how different surfaces reflect different wavelengths of light, how coloured images are created using an RGB model, and how band combinations can be chosen to examine a particular landscape effectively.

AstroZoo

This activity requires students to use computer software to try to save a space borne tourist attraction, AstroZoo, which has various exotic space creatures, but has fallen on hard times. The zoo was once a great success, but bad management has seen oxygen reserves exhausted, creature enclosures overpopulated,...

James Webb Space Telescope: Designing the Primary Mirror

This activity looks at the primary mirror of the James Webb Space Telescope exploring the challenges that faced scientists and engineers whilst they were designing it. Linking to tessellating shapes in mathematics children investigate different shapes. They then look at the rotational...

Measurements with the Sun

Measuring the diameter of our star This simple exercise allows students to measure the diameter of the Sun using a metre rule and two pieces of card. An image of the Sun needs to be projected on the card using a small hole in one piece of card.

Measuring the number of hours in a day...

Marble-ous Ellipses

In order to understand the orbits of planets, comets and other celestial bodies, it is necessary to examine the principles of how gravity, and the velocity of an object, interact to produce an orbit. It is a common misconception among students that planetary orbits are circular. This practical activity gives a...

Issue 39: It's in the News! Space Junk

This activity from the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) Primary magazine takes the issue of space junk as its central theme. There are opportunities to develop and understanding of time and time zones, probability, mass, speed and large numbers relating to distances.

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History of the Universe

The vast age of the Universe can be difficult to comprehend and put into perspective. This creative and mathematical research activity allows students to gain an insight into the main events in the history of the Universe and scale them to a recognisable timescale of one year.

Students must perform...

Google in Education: a New and Open World for Learning

Produced by Google, this document looks at the company's involvement in supporting education. It illustrates the range of Google's education activities and resources. It also aims to illustrate how Google tools can support learning in a range of curriculum areas including science, technology, engineering and...

Buildings and fire safety

In this one hour activity, students evaluate the types of fire risks in different buildings.  In the context of a team which has been contracted by the local council to improve fire safety, each team picks a building type and produces advice for the council.