Tag Archives: student events

Holidays in Space?

A trip on a Virgin Galactic sub orbital space flight next year will set you back at least $200,000 …..we can all dream! But will these trips ever be affordable and should public money be used to fund them?

Zero gravity

Zero gravity

A report published this week recommends that Britain invests more money in the space industry in order to take advantage of key market opportunities including space tourism.

Take advantage of the current media coverage to run a discussion lesson on space tourism.

Some ideas to get your students thinking…

  • How far could a space tourism trip take you?
  • How long will it be before we can book a hotel on the moon or holiday on Mars?
  • How much risk are the public willing to take? What if there was an accident?
  • Do you need to be as fit as an astronaut to go?
  • What is the carbon footprint of a trip into space?

The increasing public interest in space travel may well be of a benefit to scientists doing research by making extra funding available. However, it could also be a hindrance if there was an increase in health and safety scares linked to space exploration or  if funding gets diverted away from research and invested in space tourism instead.

To get your class discussing this topic you could get groups to each research a different area and follow this with mixed group discussions using the marketplace format. Run a search on space tourism on the web to find multiple news articles and websites with both sides to the story.

As part of the Exploring the Universe Theme Day at the Science Museum on 17th May the Talk Science team will be running a discussion activity on Space tourism for secondary school groups. To book or for more information give our friendly bookings team a call on 020 7942 4777.

Students get creative with Rat-brained robot

Students Talk Science @ The Science Museum

Last Friday over 40 KS3 and 4 students took part in our ever popular News+Views Activity. Scientist Mark Hammond from Reading University joined us along with Gordon the Rat-brained robot. Gordon is a very special robot. Controlled by a dish full of rats’ brain cells, he’s helping scientists to understand how our brains work. 

Gordons brain and body

Gordon's brain and body

Working as science journalists, students created news displays based on the Museum’s own Antenna gallery. They got to grill Mark about his research and asked probing questions ranging from ‘will we be able to download ourselves into robots?’ to ‘is it ethical to use rat brain cells to control a robot?’

Students then wrote text, chose images and presented their opinions on the topic to the rest of the group.  You can find out more about Gordon and what scientists are hoping to learn form this research here.

Students presenting their stories

Students presenting their stories

Like the sound of the event? We have more planned next year as part of an exciting new Exploring the Universe themed day at the Museum on 17 May 2010. To keep up to date with the latest goings on from the Science Museum Learning team subscribe to the educators e-newsletter.