Foundation Pupils’ First Cross-School Space Mission Saves Earth!

The first day back after a half-term can sometimes be a struggle but this was not the case for our intrepid group of aspiring astronauts! Thirty-four lucky Foundation pupils swapped Monday’s lessons for a mission-critical ‘Rendezvous with a Comet’ challenge to save planet Earth at the National Space Centre, Leicester on Monday 27 February.

Relishing the opportunity to demonstrate their problem solving skills, pupils were briefed by Space Centre Commanders Will and Charlie before coordinating their efforts to build and launch the probe that would save the day. Pupils took on various roles including: Navigation, Communication and Data Officers as well as being part of the Isolation, Medical and Remote Teams. During the two and half hour mission, real life dilemmas were presented to the Year 6,7 and 8 pupils to test their ability to work under pressure. They had to communicate effectively, plot accurate coordinates, swap data, test chemicals, identify gases and colour spectrums. Phew!

A particularly memorable moment was when the voice of Princethorpe pupil Izzy Dardis could be heard communicating the test results of leaves, when all around everyone else was in a panic at being just one minute away from total annihilation of the Earth and in desperate need of the coordinates to launch the probe and save our planet!

After a heroes’ welcome as the teams returned to Mission Control safely. Da Vinci Coordinator and Scholars’ Mentor, Mrs Pascoe-Williams added, “This was an excellent day. Although the fifth time that we have taken pupils to the Space Centre, it was the first time together with pupils from Princethorpe, Crackley and Crescent and the atmosphere was fantastic. As ever, I was astounded by the boundless enthusiasm of our astronauts’ capacity for high level cross-curricula learning. Accompanying members of staff, Mr Gil Cowlishaw, Mr Harris and Mrs Lowe were extremely impressed by how industriously every student worked from start to finish; everyone was totally engaged at all times."

The mission-critical trip ended with a film in the 3D planetarium and that all-important visit to the gift shop to purchase some souvenirs to remind everyone of their journey into space.