Space Masterclass: a student's view

Bruce McCandless EVA Challenger 1984National Space Academy Lead Educator Robin Mobbs visited a school in Baldock recently to talk about physics and space exploration.  One of the students he taught has written the following report on the day.

"On the morning of the 23rd January, Mr Mobbs from the National Space Centre based in Leicester, delighted a hall full of year 10 students from Knights Templar School in Baldock. Equipped with an extensive PowerPoint presentation, jam-packed with informative videos, photos and diagrams and a wide array of genuine space paraphernalia such as a vacuum-sealed bag of space mash potato! His talk covered the dynamics of rocket launch, the science behind the evolution of the space suit, the few space disasters in recent years and much more.

After the presentation in the main hall, Mr Mobbs spent the rest of the day visiting individual classes and providing a chance to do some more intimate and hands-on science experiments. Such experiments included putting a marshmallow into a syringe and watching it expand as a vacuum is created, as you would see in space. He also comically demonstrated how hard it is to manoeuvre in the space suit by putting structured arms onto a pupil in our class and asking him to move the desk in front of him, whilst standing on a skateboard. He couldn't.

Overall, having Mr Mobbs visit our school made an enjoyable change to typical school routine and it was very interesting to learn about the science of outer space from someone who has dedicated his life to educating students like us. I particularly enjoyed the part of the presentation where Mr Mobbs explained how easy it is for a space mission to go wrong even if a tiny human error is made. Thank you to the whole agency for organising to come and talk to us, it was much appreciated."

Report by Max Dewing, Knight Templar School

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