More than 40 East Midlands teachers recently gave up the first three days of the Easter holidays to boldly go where no UK teachers had gone before – as participants in the UK’s first Space Conference for Science Teachers. Organised as part of the emda-funded Space Academy project, this groundbreaking conference was held at the University of Leicester’s Science Learning Centre East Midlands and the National Space Centre.
Delegates had a non-stop schedule for the three days including:
Seminars from Europe’s leading space scientists including Professor Terry Moore (University of Nottingham) and Professor Martin Barstow (University of Leicester)
Taking part in masterclass sessions led by some of the region’s leading science teachers and Space Academy project scientists
Participating in simulated space missions as mission controllers and spacecraft crew members Launching rockets
Handling a piece of Mars which may hold clues as to whether or not life ever existed on the Red Planet
Seeing the latest prototype of Europe’s ExoMars rover “Bruno” which has been undergoing testing at the National Space Centre
The conference ended with an excellent presentation from Dr Simon Singh on “The Big Bang” and as a final extra treat, were invited to participate in further training at the University of Umea in Sweden in 2010.
Dr Sarah Hill, Space Academy Project Manager, said “This was an amazing opportunity for teachers to improve their own space related subject knowledge plus learn some exciting new experiments for the classroom. The feedback has been really positive and we’re already planning next year’s conference which will be bigger and better”.