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Helping Space Detectives at the CLF Teacher's Conference
The Space Detectives stand at the CLF teacher's conference
Image Credit: Photo taken by Jo Richardson

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Just over a month ago, ESERO-UK Space Ambassador Jo Richardson emailed me asking if I could help her at the Cabot Learning Federation (CLF) teachers conference. Never one to turn opportunities down, I said yes straight away.


I was up and out the door by 6:35am on Friday 7th July ready for our day at The City Academy in Bristol. It was the first time I had seen Jo since I had been back from university so we had quite a bit to catch up on.


When you’re putting on a display you can't do it half-heartedly, and we certainly didn't. Our stand definitely took longer to set up than the majority of the others but it was worth every second that went into it. The aim of our stand was to give people an insight to what sort of things the workshops consist of without giving too much away.


It was definitely the Virtual Reality (VR) headset which people were the most interested in. With the smart phone inside and the app downloaded it took them well beyond our own planet. It's a great tool when teaching about space because it's easier to explain things when you have a picture to help, and it also allows the person who is wearing the headset to navigate themselves around the unfamiliar landscape. 


Also on display we had a large pair of Celestron binoculars which are used for the 'In the Night Sky' workshop, and model planets made using a 3D printer representing the 'Our Place in Space' workshop. Behind this set up was our projector screen where we had a video on loop. It consisted of a few different parts; comparing the sizes of different celestial objects, a clip about the affects of light pollution and a very noisy rocket launch!


The busiest time on the display stand was when it first opened for people to look around at 9:00. Jo's first talk was at 10:45, and another one at 2:00. Both of these were on the upcoming theme of Mission X, which will follow on from the Tim Peake Primary Project which she has been heavily involved with for the last two years. Despite both schemes being aimed at Primary schools, Jo said the Secondary school teachers were extremely enthusiastic about out, telling her how some of the ideas can be adapted to better suit the older age group. 


It was busy day but one that I thoroughly enjoyed. It was great to see the large amount of interest in Jo’s workshops and I look forward to helping out again.



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