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First ever London Space Expo delivered by RSC, RAS, and the National Space Academy

London Space ExpoThe National Space Academy, Royal Society of Chemistry and the Royal Astronomical Society are extremely pleased to announce the successful completion of the first ever running of the London Space Expo. 

Students in London were treated to a day of activities and talks all geared towards highlighting the opportunities available to them in the UK space sector. 

 

 

 

Held at the prestigious Burlington House in central London, the event gave students from Sion Manning Girls School, Seven Kings school, Pimlico Academy and Beal High School the chance to take part in a series of activities put forward by the Royal Astronomical Society, the Royal Society of Chemistry and the National Space Academy. 


The activities allowed students to prevent UV light from damaging an astronaut, understand the workings of a comet (by building one with dry ice) and imagine the geology of the earth by drilling into chocolate. They also started to think about the types of career they could have by building their own Space CV. 


The theme of the day was Earth Observation, and keynote speaker Terri Freemantle, Earth Observation Scientist at the Satellite Applications Catapult, described to the students how space technology is used to view the Earth, and to solve some of the more complex problems facing our planet.


Such an event couldn't happen without the support of STEM Ambassadors and RAS fellows, and the students were able to speak directly to ambassadors from the space industry, by taking part in a 'What's my line' activity. Split into groups of six, the students were given three minutes with each Ambassador to guess exactly what the ambassador did for a living. The students competitive side came out as they were determined to figure out the job as quickly as possible.

London Space ExpoIn a twist to events run in the past, the teachers who attended the Expo were treated to a free Astro Academy: Principia CPD session run in parallel to the students' activities. Based on the in-flight experiments conducted by Astronaut Tim Peake, the session provided teachers with resources that could demonstrate fundamental physics principles to their students.

 
Comments from teachers were very complimentary overall, saying things like "Thank you for this day!" and "I thought the day was fantastic".

 

The Expo was a challenge not just for the students, but also for five STEM ambassadors who agreed to give a "Pecha Kucha" talk. For the final part of the day each ambassador was asked to give a talk to the students that had to last 6 minutes and 40 seconds only. With the restricted timescale, each ambassador could condense their message on topics as varied as: what a modern Astronomer does, to how to become an Astronaut through the European Space Agency's Training programme, the story of Solar Orbiter (which will be the closest mission ever to go to the Sun), understanding the nucleus of a comet via MIARD (Mid-Instrument Analysis of the Rosetta Data), and saving wildlife habitats with the use of Earth Observation technology.
 

With 49% of space sector careers located in London and the South East, it is important for the National Space Academy to raise awareness of the types of opportunities and career paths currently available to students in that area, to ensure the future of a very buoyant space sector. It is also important to support teachers in educating the next generation of future scientists and engineers.

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