Author Workshop

A three hour PosctardsFromSpace Author Workshop is available, free of charge, to all schools purchasing the full schools package (schools will need to cover travel expenses). Delivered in-person by Miles Hudson, physics education expert.

School girls building telescopes
Building telescopes!

The workshop can adapted for students in any age group from 8 to 18 years old. The outline below is for upper primary.

Schools workshop outline

  • 2x workshop sessions, 90 minutes each,
  • Including open-ended Q&A.
  • Hands-on activities, including making telescopes and star wheels.
  • With some materials emailed through beforehand.
  • Some materials will need to be printed out for use in the sessions or later.

Session details

Session 1 – Making telescopes

  • How do telescopes work and why do we use them?
  • The children measure the focal length of lenses, in order to work out how large to make their telescope.
  • Small groups, in competition to build the telescope with the clearest image.
  • What are the differences between our telescopes and professional ones? where are the biggest telescope in the world?

Session 2 – Our Solar System and Beyond

  • What’s in our solar system? interactive presentation of objects in space, children devise or remember a mnemonic for the names of the planets.
  • What are PostcardsFromSpace? Explanation of the story idea and characters.
  • How do we find aliens? Explanation of the science of searching for life elsewhere. Read along with the story on the PostcardFromMars.
  • Explanation of constellations and the children make a constellations finder map.
  • Exoplanet Search: Explanation of the NASA missions searching for exoplanets and how they find them. Could exoplanets have aliens?
  • How could we communicate with aliens? Read through of the exoplanet Postcard.
  • Talking to aliens: radio and picture messages. Picture puzzle activity and introduction to Breakthrough Junior Challenge.
  • Children’s mission: Miles sets a post-workshop activity.