Cheltenham Children’s Festival

From Director, Cheltenham Science Group


Cheltenham Science Group were part of the first ever Cheltenham Children’s Festival on Saturday 28th May.  We were exploring space technology.  Families enjoyed launching balloon rockets and popper rockets – some flew all the way up onto the balcony of the Town Hall!  The real spacesuit that we had borrowed from Cambridge Science Centre was incredibly popular. We knew we had to train hard to be a real astronaut like Tim Peake, though, which is why families could also complete the first two space to earth missions. Even the grown-ups enjoyed space hopping 100 m and there was always a queue for the exercise bike.  Altogether, we managed 25.4 km during the 3 hour event, which gets us into the stratosphere. We hope that we have inspired lots of families to go home and try and complete all of the missions together!


Space to Earth Challenge at Culross Primary School!

By Scott Wilson, Headteacher, Culross Primary School

Optimized-culrossWe are Primary 5-7 at Culross Primary School (25 pupils), Fife, Scotland.   Our class topic is Earth and Space. 

Today we started our Space to Earth Challenge!  Collectively we managed to cover a distance of 104,987metres (running and cycling)!  We are aiming to complete Challenge 9 over the coming month!

We really enjoyed watching Tim Peake’s video introducing the challenge.  We don’t have a school Twitter account and wondered if you could share our photo so that Tim can see us after our first attempt to reach our challenge!



The Neuromuscular Centre’s (NMC) Muscle Month Spaceathlon Challenge is go!

Life at NMC has taken on an extra-terrestrial feel as the start of May signals the beginning of the annual Muscle Month Challenge. The aim is simple – to encourage people with Neuromuscular Conditions to challenge their own activity levels.

NM2Neuromuscular Conditions, an umbrella term for a group of genetic muscle, nerve and metabolic disorders, are more common than you may think, affecting over 70,000 individuals in the UK. They range in severity, onset, and presentation with some conditions diagnosed at birth (such as severe forms of Muscular Dystrophy) and others not apparent until adult life. Regardless of their origin, the issues they cause present challenges to health and function in every individual, affecting that person’s independence, mobility and quality of life.

The Neuromuscular Centre in Winsford, Cheshire, is a national Centre of Excellence for adults with Neuromuscular Conditions. Providing ongoing, specialist physiotherapy; employment and training; advice and support to 1,000 individuals (and their friends, families, and carers) affected by Neuromuscular Conditions. NMC is a charity and its services are completely free-to-access for its service users, many of whom regularly from travel from across the country (and beyond!) to access the wealth of knowledge and expertise available. Continue reading


May the Forth be with you!

Today I have reached my current target, Mission 7, 200km. To mark my achievement, me, my sister Zoe and my Mum took a walk across the Forth Road Bridge. It was an amazing experience, despite the cold and rain. Before Tim returns to Eartth in around 6 weeks, I hope to achieve 300km. If that is not possible in the short time I have left then I attempt at least 250km. I wish good luck to everyone who is taking part in the challenge. I hope you achieve your goal before Tim comes home.


Breaking News …. Principia Schools Conferences – Apply Now!

PrincipiaSchoolsConferencesThe UK Space Agency is organising two conferences for school pupils in November 2016. The conferences will give young people the opportunity to present their work, linked to Tim Peake’s Principia mission, to leading experts from industry and education.

The conferences will be held at the University of Portsmouth on Wednesday 02 November and the University of York on Saturday 05 November. The days will include keynote talks from leading figures, presentations from the students, exhibition of the students’ work and the opportunity to meet and talk to experts from the space industry and the Principia education programmes.

British ESA astronaut Tim Peake will be in attendance at both events, subject to operational requirements. Continue reading


Help Find Sam the Space Dog!!

English Lakes’ Mascot Sam travels to space!


Sam the Dog on the edge of space

The Science Project

The Midland hotel in Morecambe and partnered with school children at Morecambe Bay Community Primary School who designed a physics project to use helium balloons, specialised GPS tracking equipment and GoPro action cameras to see if they could send ‘Sam the Dog’ to the edge of space.

Continue reading


London Marathon : Team Astronaut

by Libby Jackson, UK Space Agency Astronaut Flight Education Programme Manager

Libby-in-suit-2I’m very excited to be able to share the news with you that Susan and I, along with a number of other colleagues from the UK and European Space Agencies, will be running the Virgin Money London Marathon in just over two weeks’ time, alongside Tim who is running the Digital Virgin Money London Marathon on the treadmill at the same time. We are doing this to raise funds for Tim’s chosen charity, The Prince’s Trust, for who he is an ambassador and is supporting from orbit. To add to the challenge and to make the fundraising even meaningful, I will be running the marathon dressed in a replica Sokul Suit.

You can read more about this effort here:

Please don’t feel obliged to sponsor the team, but any support of the team, both on Earth and in space, large or small, would be very warmly received. If you will be on the streets of London on Sunday 24th April (or indeed are also running), please let us know where to look out for you – it is always lovely to see friendly faces on the course.


Shobdon Primary in The Hereford Times (14 March 2016)

Shoben Hereford Times Article ImageSHOBDON Primary School pupils did not need to leave the classroom to explore outer space when an extra special guest paid them a visit.  The children undertook astronaut training while taking part in a “space to earth challenge” and a few youngsters also tried on an authentic “Sokol” space suit. 

The educational activities were put on when Tony Forsyth, from the UK Space Agency, dropped by to give a progress update on the International Space Station project involving British astronaut Tim Peake.

Shobden Hereford Times Article Image MikeHe was joined by Mike Jubb, from the Triathlon Trust, who showed the pupils how astronauts such as Mr Peake and his colleagues remain fit while working in outer space.  And the Shobdon children imitated the British spaceman’s two-hour workout by creating their own “spaceathlon”, complete with space, sport and science-based activities. Shobden Hereford Times Article Image group


Swimming to Space

By Eleanor Smith


My name is Eleanor Smith and I am 13 years old. I started training with a local swimming club, Dunfermline Amateur Swimming Club in August 2015.  I really enjoy swimming and recently took part in my first competitive gala.  In my first race I won a bronze medal, missing out on gold by 0.01s swimming butterfly which is my favourite stroke to swim. Other than swimming I enjoy cycling, music, reading and spending time with my friends.

When I’m not at swimming I enjoy taking my dog, Neptune for walks.  We live near the Fife Coastal path and have plenty of great places to take him. Neptune is 5 years old and was a rescue puppy. The litter were named after all the planets.  Most of them had their names changed but Neptune stuck!!  My school choices include Healh & Fitness and Technology subjects which makes me really interested in Tim’s program.  At night I sometimes like to sit outside and look at the stars. And when the alerts come through on the app I look out for the ISS passing overhead. We get a great view here!! I would really like to get to 400km before Tim gets back but for now I am aiming for 100km and will work from there.