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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.

Solids, liquids, gases

The relationship between energy and states of matter is sometimes difficult for students to comprehend. This activity helps to reinforce the notion that, when energy is added to a system, the molecules themselves do not change but their motion and relative positions do change.

While the model is a...

Visual perception

Astronauts, and especially spacecraft commanders, must take in a huge amounts of information from displays and screens. Small changes in this information might indicate important changes that should be addressed, and missing the signs may have important consequences.

This simple activity challenges students...

Astronaut reaction speed

This activity includes a game-based approach to measuring reaction speed. Fast reflexes are vital to astronauts who may need to deal with rapidly escalating incidents and high-speed projectiles.

The effect of distraction on reaction speed is investigated – students collect multiple readings and take averages...

Introduction to VEX Robotics

In this full scheme of work, designed for a series of two-hour double-lessons, students develop a Mars Rover for NASA based on a standard VEX design. They learn about the components of a robotics system including control units and data communications, and work through a design process towards a prototype. The VEX...

Getting Started with Astro Pi


Astro Pi is the name of a small computer developed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, in collaboration with the UK Space Agency and the European Space Agency (ESA).

There are two very special Astro Pi’s. Their names are Ed and Izzy, and they have been qualified for spaceflight. They are now onboard...

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.

Problem solving challenge: using computational thinking and the Internet of Things to improve fire safety

This five hour teaching pack examines how everyday technologies can be connected via the Internet Of Things (IoT) to improve fire safety. 

From the sensors that detect heat and gases; through the connected computers that read and shape data shared through the cloud; to the networked...

Introduction to computational thinking and the Internet of Things

This one-hour lesson examines the design of IoT algorithms, considering how individual devices execute algorithms as code, allowing them to work together. The key aims are to develop computational thinking while raising awareness of the potential for future careers and enterprise.

The lesson starts with the...


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