On 29 October 2013 RAL Space teamed up with the National Space Academy to engage with the Oxfordshire community, and showcase some of the amazing science, technology and engineering projects RAL Space are involved in.
With the aim of providing a hands-on family experience, and sparking young people’s interest in STEM subjects, staff set up camp for the day at the Cornerstone Arts Centre in Didcot offering loads of activities, information, talks and workshops.
During the day the audience were able to:
- Learn about our solar system and create a personalised planet to take home!
- Discover and explore infra-red astronomy with the Herschel Space Observatory team.
- Handle meteorite moon rocks and find out about x-ray spectrometry.
- Look at how we observe the Sun, highlighting in particular the STEREO mission and UV light.
- Manoeuvre our robotic rovers and find out about autonomous rover systems on terrestrial planets.
- Find out about the structure of comets with dry-ice demonstrations, and comet making activities for children.
- Learn about the importance of designing and rigorously testing space instruments with our ‘shaker table’ workshop
The drop-in event was advertised widely throughout the local schools however nobody could have anticipated such an exceptional turnout. Over 150 families and members of the public came in just the first half an hour alone! A total foot fall of over 600 was counted through the main door on the day, with many families also coming through the second entrance. Staff members from RAL and the Cornerstone were delighted, if not a little overwhelmed by the turnout.
Feedback from the audience was incredibly positive:
“The children being able to take part and assist is by far the best way of them developing an interest in science and technology for themselves”
“I was very much impressed with the range of activities at the family day - not just in terms of the scientific concepts covered, but also by the way they were pitched for children. My sons loved the day and learnt a great deal. Please extend our thanks and appreciation to all those involved.”
“Don't think you could better it. My 3 grandchildren age 10, 8 and 7 had a wonderful time, please do it again”
For more information please contact: RAL Space Enquiries