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Space Cadets will be “Learning to Fly” at Space School this weekend

16 May 2013

The next instalment of this year’s Tayside Space School will take place at Abertay University this Saturday (May 18).

Tayside Space School runs every year, and gives space cadets from Dundee and Perth the chance to see how the things they learn about in science at school are used by astronauts, and other types of scientists, to explore outer space.

Two sessions will run on Saturday: “What does it take to be fit and healthy for space?” and “Learning to Fly”.

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

“Space School kicked off back in March with a visit to the Dundee Science Centre and Discovery Point, where our space cadets learnt about the planets, the solar system, and the idea of exploring the unknown.

“Last month they got to think about what it would take, and what it would be like, to build a sustainable world on Mars. They covered everything from thinking about what they would do to pass the time on the long journey to get there, to how we might make the planet more habitable for us to live on.

“They also learnt about the effects that going into space has on the human body and even got to taste ice cream made with liquid nitrogen when they were learning about the effects of temperature in outer space and how it affects different foodstuffs.

“This weekend, we’ll be building on the knowledge they’ve gained over the past few months, as they learn about the health and fitness implications of an expedition into space and undergo some basic training for controlling spacecraft and robotic equipment.”

Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science Andrea Cameron, who will deliver the “What does it take to be fit and healthy for space” session, explains what it will involve:

“The first part of the workshop will have the children examining what it means to be healthy and what the effects of space travel are on astronaut health.

“We’ll then explore how astronauts try to avoid some of the health complications and maintain their fitness whilst in space.

“Finally, the pupils will get to try out some basic fitness tests in our Sports Performance Laboratory, which will be akin to the measures that are taken from astronauts to help with the construction of fitness programmes for them prior to, and during, their space expedition.”

Senior Lecturer in Computing Andy Sapeluk, who will deliver the “Learning to Fly” session, said:

“In ‘Learning to Fly’ the students will get the opportunity to train on a realistic spacecraft simulator, where they’ll perform tasks on the International Space Station and learn to land the Space Shuttle.

“Remote control is important in space missions, so the students will experiment with a number of robots and robotic devices to get an idea of how computer science is used in real-life situations - even in outer space.”

A further Space School event will take place in June, and Space School will culminate in a week-long summer school at Abertay University in July with a similar separate event running in Perth College for pupils from Perth & Kinross primary schools.

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


For media enquiries please contact Kirsty Cameron T: 01382 308935 M: 07922041198 E:

Notes to Editors:

Tayside 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.

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