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.
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 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.