On Monday Pre-Prep 2 had a visit from Simon Sheridan from the Tim Peak Project. The Tim Peak Project works with 500 schools nationally to encourage science education through the topic of ‘Space’.
Perfectly timed for Pre-Prep 2 who are currently exploring Space through cross curricular lessons, Simon talked to the children about Tim Peake and the work he did on the International Space Station. The children watched the space rocket that Tim Peake travelled in blast off from Earth. Simon explained how the rocket divided into separate components and why the people had to stand two and a half miles away from the launch.
The children studied the International Space Station, how it made its own electricity, where Tim Peake did his experiments, slept and went to the toilet! It was fascinating to hear about how the astronauts had to stay sitting down when they returned from space because their muscles had become weak due to the effects of gravity. The children were amazed to hear the space station is as long as a football pitch and is travelling at 18,000 miles an hour and orbits the Earth in just 90 minutes.
The children looked through the windows that the astronauts had asked to be added to the space station so that they could see out into space and their home back on Earth. They looked at a photograph Tim Peake had taken of Great Britain at night with the bright lights of London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Belfast, Swansea and Edinburgh.
Simon had a very interesting silver case with him and when he opened it the children were not disappointed. A large piece of shiny, cold black rock came out of the case and hit the floor with a loud thud! The children examined the object and came to the conclusion that it was a meteorite. Simon explained that this was probably the oldest thing that they were ever going to touch and that it had landed on Earth in Africa about 15,000 years ago. It was made of iron and was about 4.2 billion years old, not quite as old as the Earth but nearly! Out of the case next came a small black rock and Daniel was the first to hold a piece of Mars in his hand! 8000 years ago it was blasted off Mars. But why was it black and not red? It was not from the surface of Mars, lots of pieces were blasted into space when a meteorite hit Mars and created a crater. Eventually it made its way through the Earth’s atmosphere in 1929 and landed in Egypt, sadly killing a dog.
The rest of the morning was spent experimenting with soil samples and trying to work out which one could have come from Mars. This involved testing the colour and texture of the samples, the salt content, acid content and ability to filter water. Exciting and real Science! A huge thank you to Simon Sheridan for a fascinating morning.