Our Gifted and Talented children were taken on a trip to the Educational Development Centre in Walsall, for a session programming and working with Robotics. They had to make them move, change colour and spin around.
Marc Richardson, who ran the session, was really impressed with the level of questioning the children asked.
Well done to all.
Mrs Grainger – Gifted and Talented co-ordinator
Walsall primary school children took an inter-galactic trip into outer-space to look for extraterrestrial life in a Stardome brought to life by Keele University at Grace Academy Darlaston. King’s Hill were part of a group of 150 Primary School children who embarked on their epic journey of discovery as they stepped into the Stardome and were transported to other galaxies in the search for life elsewhere in the universe.
Using a Hubble Deep field image, along with a bespoke film projected onto the walls of the Stardome, students were invited to find out more about the conditions needed to support life and to explore where these might be found. This involved looking for Exo planets (planets orbiting another star) in the Goldilocks zone, where water is not too hot and not too cold so that liquid water might be found; something of key importance for all life that we know of.
Student Saara Khanum, Year 6, Kings Hill Primary School, said:
“It was very interesting and the movie was informative and portrayed things in a good way that children could understand. I learned that planets that don’t orbit the sun are called Exo planets.”
Student Najeeb Uddin, Year 6, Kings Hill Primary School, said:
“I liked the movie that was really informative and child friendly. The images felt like they came out from the walls of the dome and went through your face like it was 3D.”
Tracey Grainger, Science and Gifted and Talented Co-ordinator at Kings Hill Primary School said:
“I thought it was an amazing experience for the children who can’t visualize what space would look like. We bring Gifted and Talented students to events like this to broaden their experiences and this was an exciting way for them to widen their knowledge and take that back into the classroom. Thank you very much Grace Academy.”
Presenter Professor Rob Jeffries from Keele University explained:
“It’s all about giving young people the opportunity to reach beyond their own experience and have positive and fun experiences outside their own classrooms.
“There are thousands of Exo planets, with some more likely to sustain life than others, and the Stardome is a great visual experience to help students explore space.”
The Stardome, run in conjunction with Keele University Astrophysics Group, with support from the Science and Technology Facilities Council and the Ogden Trust, won the 2015 Times Higher Education Award for the best ‘Widening Participation or Outreach Initiative of the Year’ and has presented shows to 20,000 children over the past four years.
Sarah Giles, Transition Co-ordinator for Grace Academy Darlaston, added:
“I think it’s great for primary school children to have good experiences like this in secondary school that make them enthusiastic to learn in exciting ways they wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to take part in. We are fully committed to making our facilities here at Grace Academy available to local schools to add value to what they can provide for children in Walsall.”