The topic of Earth & space is one that often captivates learners. Tim Peake’s adventures are still an inspiration to many and 2020 was a momentous year for space travel with events including the first crewed flight of Space X's Dragon 2 to the ISS and the launch of NASA's Mars 2020 Perseverance mission.
2021 looks set to bring more excitement. Perseverance is due to land on Mars on 18 February. As well as being a super-sophisticated rover that will search for signs of ancient microbial life and characterise the planet’s geology and climate, it is ferrying a helicopter named Ingenuity to the surface of Mars. Ingenuity will be the first aircraft to fly in a controlled way on another planet. There will also be more Space X missions and at the end of October, the long awaited James Webb Space Telescope will be launched into orbit, replacing Hubble.
Young learners love to find out more about the Moon and the planets, human space flight and how space exploration has changed our scientific understanding of our nearest neighbour in space.
If you are setting a space project for your home learners or have any budding astronauts or space scientists at your school, we have lots of research cards, resources, games and activities that could be useful.
Research Cards can be a great resource for reading at home and they are all freely available to access online. Key Stage 2 learners could explore how ideas about the solar system have changed throughout history using our Earth and space research cards; younger children could research the science experiments and discoveries that have been made through human missions to the Moon using our Moon landings research cards. Children could then report and share their findings through posters, chronological reports or even use mobile phones and tablets at home to make videos or podcasts.
Why not ask them to create their own pocket solar system; or try their hand at creating some play-doh planets? There are lots of resources on our website for learning about earth and space. Don’t forget to take a look and share them with your pupils.
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