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Space explorers of the future land at RAL

3…2…1…lift off! World Space Week got off to a great start at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, with 180 primary school pupils taking part in a Space Explorers Day on 4 October. The United Nations organised week, which runs annually from 4-10 October, is a celebration of science and technology, with thousands of events held worldwide.

Lots of exciting activities were in store for the budding space explorers. Throughout the day, pupils got to try out various space-themed activities, including going inside a planetarium, launching rockets, studying meteorites and more.

In the darkness of the planetarium, pupils experienced the night sky up close, learning about star constellations and the stories behind them. They also learnt about how the human eye adjusts to the dark, as well as examples of how constellations have influenced culture and society.

Next up: an ‘Earth Observation Detectives’ session led by Catapult, learning about the importance of satellites and earth observation. They then attempted to create their own origami satellite models, exactly 62 years to the day since the launch of Sputnik 1, the first ever satellite.

The space explorers also learnt about the Apollo 11 mission, the astronauts involved and the pioneering computer programmer behind the mission’s success, Margaret Hamilton. The process of launching a rocket and the distance between the Earth and the Moon was demonstrated on a much smaller scale, allowing pupils to appreciate the challenges of the three-day journey. Pupils then had the chance to make and launch their very own rockets!

At the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source (ISIS) pupils took part in a ‘Microscopes and Meteorites’ activity. Here, they had the opportunity to examine space rocks under a microscope, before learning about how the world-leading facilities at ISIS can act as very powerful microscopes themselves.

The children had a fantastic time, with one pupil from Hagbourne School commenting “My favourite part of the day was everything we’ve done so far!”

Inspiring young people and the wider public in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) is a core value at STFC.

Find out more about what we do at all our sites by visiting: https://stfc.ukri.org/public-engagement/

27 March 2020
STFC at STEM for BRITAIN
STFC at STEM for BRITAIN

The recent STEM for BRITAIN Awards held in UK Parliament featured a number of STFC-funded students, with work ranging from microscope cameras and Dark Matter data analysis to algorithms increasing x-ray image quality.

26 March 2020
The Harwell company on a mission to clean up Space
The Harwell company on a mission to clean up Space

From non-functioning satellites, to fragments as small as a millimetre, the European Space Agency says there’s more than 8,000 tonnes of debris in Space.

23 March 2020
In Space: 2 deployers and 6 ultra-miniaturized satellites
In Space: 2 deployers and 6 ultra-miniaturized satellites

Fast growing SME Alba Orbital, comes to the Higgs Centre for Innovation to test their ground-breaking space hardware.

13 March 2020
Daresbury technology helps beam physicists into unexplored territory at CERN
Daresbury technology helps beam physicists into unexplored territory at CERN

Technology developed at STFC’s Daresbury Laboratory has played an exciting role in an experiment at CERN to shed light on how heavy elements, such as gold, are formed in the universe.

02 March 2020
PIP-II gets final review approval
PIP-II gets final review approval

A major review of the $888 million Proton Improvement Plan II (PIP-II) at Fermilab, America, has been conducted – with Daresbury Laboratory receiving strong acknowledgement for its in-kind contributions to the international project.

24 February 2020
Higgs Centre for Innovation incubator company – Touchlab – qualify on $10M ANA Avatar XPRIZE Competition
Higgs Centre for Innovation incubator company – Touchlab – qualify on $10M ANA Avatar XPRIZE Competition

The ANA Avatar XPRIZE Competition is a global competition, sponsored by All Nippon Airways (ANA). Over 4 years, it will challenge teams around the world to develop a remotely-controlled teleoperated Avatar system.

17 February 2020
Central American University visits the Higgs Centre for Innovation to test Guatemala's first ever CubeSat satellite
Central American University visits the Higgs Centre for Innovation to test Guatemala's first ever CubeSat satellite

The Higgs Centre for Innovation – a ground-breaking new business incubation hub, created by the Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) in partnership with the University of Edinburgh has welcomed a university driving its country’s first ever space mission.

14 February 2020
Meet Jonathan Strachan, Senior Mechanical Engineer - He shares with us the MOONS vacuum vessel story
Meet Jonathan Strachan, Senior Mechanical Engineer - He shares with us the MOONS vacuum vessel story

“We think MOONS has the biggest vacuum vessel in astronomy. Do you know of a bigger one?” ask scientists and engineers at the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC’s) UK Astronomy Technology centre (UK ATC) in Edinburgh.

04 February 2020
STFC's Higgs Centre for Innovation welcomes Crover Ltd
STFC's Higgs Centre for Innovation welcomes Crover Ltd

The Higgs Centre for Innovation – a Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) business incubation hub – welcomes cutting-edge agri-tech start-up Crover Ltd, to the European Space Agency Business Incubation Centre UK (ESA BIC UK). We catch up with Founder and CEO Lorenzo Conti to find out more about the company and why he chose the ESA BIC UK at the Higgs

21 January 2020
Could mirrors for space be the next incredible object to be 3D printed?
Could mirrors for space be the next incredible object to be 3D printed?

Teams within the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) have been working together, and with a community of universities and national laboratories to explore just how this technique could be used to create lightweight mirrors for space – when weight and volume limits are critical!

Last updated: 28 October 2019

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