On / by Alex Keen

The most prominent science advocates of our age all agree that space exploration and colonisation will be a vital stepping stone in the development of humankind. Inspiring young people to learn about space and encouraging an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects has been one of our aims ever since we started Sent Into Space.

Classtronauts

Every year we visit schools across the country to conduct launches from their playgrounds as part of our Classtronauts program. This exciting event is preceded by an informative presentation to the school and a Q&A session with smaller groups, explaining the science and technology that go into our launches. 

Around the launch day, the schools can use the flight as a case study to teach all kinds of science and engineering topics, from gases, solids and liquids in year 2 through to aerodynamics in year 13, using our Key Stage-aligned educational resource packs with lesson plans, presentations and worksheets.

Recently, we launched a bear into Near Space for Leadenham Church of England Primary School. Because of the location of the school, we had to make it an early start — our team arrived at 6am to ensure the balloon would be in the air before 7am, when local air traffic would render the launch impossible. The pupils and their parents came in to watch the launch, followed by a special school breakfast before the start of the day! 

SELA

Our Classtronauts projects are great, but we’ll be the first to admit that we’re engineers, not teachers. That’s why we’re always looking for opportunities to work with other educational providers to inspire kids to look up and wonder.

Most recently, we conducted a very special launch for the Sheffield Engineering Leadership Academy at the University of Sheffield. As our company was born while Chris and Alex were completing their Mechanical Engineering PhDs at the university and with us being based in Sheffield, we’ve kept a close relationship with our alma mater.

Back in April this year, SELA ran an event at the Magna Science Centre called ‘Think Inside The Box’, to introduce over 2,000 local schoolchildren to the nine engineering disciplines offered at the University. Visitors at the event were given a card to stamp when they completed an activity relating to each discipline. Any visitor who got all nine stamps had their card lauched into space on one of our flights!

All kinds of engineering are vital to the future of industry in the UK and many are currenty undersubscribed, so inspiring children to pick it up is a cause very close to our hearts. Whether you’re a school seeking the perfect educational project or a company looking to promote engineering uptake in your local area, find out more about our Classtronauts program here

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