Monday 6 November 2017

Project 8: Space and the Planets

Usborne's Children's Encyclopedia  has a nice big section on space and the planets, with plenty of links to online video content, so we used that as a starting point for learning about space and the planets. We also discussed how the planets and space appear in the arts, from the science fiction of the Alien X reading series to Holst's Planets.

As the big trip of the week was to the National Space Centre in Leicester, we decided to watch the 1980s classic film 'SpaceCamp' beforehand. SpaceCamp is a film about a group of kids at a NASA space camp who are accidentally blasted into space. It was a good film for provoking questions: How would you feel if you were blasted into space? Would you turn off the autopilot to save the injured adult? But the language was surprisingly strong for a PG and it seems likely it would be rated at least a 12 now.

The National Space Centre was really good for kids with lots to see and do. The only downside was it was really busy with school groups, but as the National Space Centre tickets last for the whole year we will be visiting again.
National Space Centre, Leicester.
As well as rockets, a planetarium, and an astronaut's toilet, there were many interactive exhibits to help you learn about space and the planets. One of the more memorably of which demonstrated how the weight of a tin of beans varied on the different planets.
Baked beans at the National Space Centre
For Solomon's space and planets 'craft' activities he did a Melissa & Doug Sticker by Number and a Micro Rockets kit we had at the back of the cupboard.
Sticker by Number
The sticker by number set went down surprisingly well, so we're trying him with a paint by stickers set next on zoo animals.

The Micro Rockets kit included some cardboard rockets with a catapult launcher and some materials for creating a mobile of the solar system.
Cardboard rockets ready for launch
Solar system mobile
We got Dad's old telescope out to look at the moon more closely, but unfortunately the sky this week was either filled with clouds or fireworks! We will try again soon.

Next week's project: Cycling and road safety.

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