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2013

To infinity and beyond! Space School returns to Dundee

15 March 2013

Pupils from Primary Schools across Tayside will gather at the Dundee Science Centre this Saturday (March 16) for the first of a series of events which mark the welcome return of the Tayside Space School to Dundee.

Tayside Space School - organised by the University of Abertay Dundee - runs each year in both Dundee and Perth, and gives children the chance to see how the things they learn about in science at school get used by astronauts, and other types of scientists, in real life.

Saturday’s visit to the Science Centre will introduce them to the planets in our solar system, and will be followed by a trip to Discovery Point where they will find out about the remarkable similarities between the voyages of exploration of both the ship Discovery and space travel.

Further events will take place over the coming weeks, and Space School will culminate in a week-long summer school at Abertay University in July with a similar event running in Perth College.

During that week, an astronaut and Space Educator will visit from NASA to help run workshops, which will include “Mission to Mars” and “Rocket Launching”, where the children will get to carry out their own experiments and get the chance to ask any questions they may have about what it takes to get a job exploring in space.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s event, Dr Alan Bruce from Abertay University, said:

“Space School is always a lot of fun - it’s a great way to get children interested in science and to let them see how the things they learn about in the classroom actually benefit people on a day to day basis in real life.

“We run three sessions at Abertay during April, May and June in the run up to our week-long summer school in July and, during those, we’ll cover everything from spaceships, Neil Armstrong and the moon landings, to the Mars Rover, black holes and the fact that there is still so much to find out and so many possibilities.

“Having an astronaut and educator over from NASA is fantastic because it’s not every day that school pupils get to meet an astronaut. The problem with space is that it can often seem like all the exciting things happen very far away so hopefully what Space School does is bring it all a little closer to home – making it seem more accessible and sparking their imaginations.

“We’ve been running Space School for six years now, and always get very positive feedback from the pupils and teachers who take part. I hope it helps inspire the students to continue with science when they go into secondary school, and who knows, maybe one day they'll go into space themselves and be able to come back and tell us all about it.”

Space School is run by Abertay University in conjunction with Dundee City Council and Perth & Kinross Council Education Departments, Dundee Science Centre and Discovery Point.

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact Kirsty Cameron T: 01382 308935 M: 07922041198 E: k.cameron@abertay.ac.uk

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