Space experience programme

For teachers/schools that are wanting to engage with the University in more depth, we are pleased to inform you that we are now offering a programme that includes teacher CPD at the National STEM Learning Centre and a resource box for your school with lots of suggested space based activities and activities for your students both in school (whole school) and at the university (for a selected year group). This programme is completely free of charge.

Astrocampus

The programme will run in both the first and second terms. There will be an initial twilight teacher training session at which a box of space based resources will be given out. There will then be an optional session later on in the year which will include showing you how to run a space week at your school.

Astrocampus

Having attended the initial session you will also be entitled to the following free of charge:

  • A day with the Cosmodome; the University's inflatable planetarium or a demonstration assembly and workshop at your school, and
  • A visit to the Astrocampus; the University of York's observatory for 1 class or 30 pupils.

At the end of this programme we would ask you to complete a short evaluation form.

Astrocampus Visits

The Astrocampus has a dedicated space-themed classroom, suitable for up to 30 students. A standard visit is two hours, but arrangements can be tailored to your school requirement.

All Astrocampus workshops include a tour of the facilities (pitched at an appropriate level for the students) and the opportunity to use the telescopes (weather permitting): solar telescopes are used to view the Sun for day-time visits, optical telescopes are used for viewing stars and planets for evening visits; radio telescopes are used by Sixth Form groups only.

The precise nature of the activities may vary slightly, but suggested activities are given below. To book a visit to the Astrocampus, please complete the booking form at the top of the page. Risk assessments for the site and activities are available for downloading on the ‘Resources’ page.

Space-themed classroom

KS2: Astrocampus

  • A guide to the night skies (stories of the constellations and what to look out for that evening)
  • Egg Landers: An introduction to Mars landers followed by a design challenge to make a lander to safely bring an egg down to Earth.
  • The extremes of space: demonstrations of the effects of a vacuum and of extreme cold (using liquid nitrogen)
  • Take-home activities: making mini paper rockets and paper meteors
  • Seeing the invisible: How there are types of light that are invisible to our eyes but are used by space telescopes (IR and UV)

KS3: Astrocampus

  • A guide to the night skies (stories of the constellations and what to look out for that evening)
  • Egg Landers: An introduction to Mars landers followed by a design challenge to make a lander to safely bring an egg down to Earth.
  • The extremes of space: demonstrations of the effects of a vacuum and of extreme cold (using liquid nitrogen)
  • Seeing the invisible: How there are types of light that are invisible to our eyes but are used by space telescopes (IR and UV)
  • Rocket design (paper rockets launched using air pressure)

KS4: Astrocampus

  • A guide to the night skies (Planets, stars and deep sky objects including other galaxies and the different stages of stellar evolution)
  • Rocket design (paper rockets launched using air pressure)
  • Spectroscopy: Making spectroscopes and analysing light to establish stellar composition
  • The Electromagnetic Spectrum: hands-on activities to demonstrate the use of the EM spectrum in Astronomy (including an IR camera and gamma ray detector)

KS5: Astrocampus

  • A guide to the night skies (focussing on stellar evolution)
  • Talk from an academic (please see ‘talks’ page)
  • Spectroscopy: Making spectroscopes and analysing light to establish stellar composition
  • The Electromagnetic Spectrum: hands-on activities to demonstrate the use of the EM spectrum in Astronomy (including an IR camera and gamma ray detector)
  • Data analysis activities (Solar Cycle and/or Doppler shifting galaxies)

Cosmodome

Be inspired by the wonders of space in the comfort of your school with our Cosmodome: an inflatable planetarium that seats up to 30 primary school children, 25 KS3 students, or 20 KS4/5 students. Shows can be tailored to your requirements and can be varied in length. However, suggested timings and possible content for the different age ranges is detailed below.

The Cosmodome requires a power sockets and a large, high-ceilinged room such as a gym or school hall. It is 5m in diameter and 3m in height. Please note that it cannot be used outside.

The dome takes approximately 45 minutes to put up, and 30 minutes to dismantle, so please build in time for this when planning your day. Please note that the dome can also not be deflated and re-inflated during the school day.

The cost of the Cosmodome is £200 for up to 6 hours with the dome and must include a minimum of a 30 minute break every 3 hours.

Cosmodome

KS1: 20-30 minutes:

  • Fly through the Solar System looking at the planets
  • Watch the Sun move across the sky and discover what happens to the stars during the day time
  • Hear the stories behind some of the constellations
  • Watch a short animation about space exploration

KS2: 30-45 minutes

  • Fly through the Solar System, finding out some of the properties of the planets
  • Hear the stories behind some of the constellations and learn about different types of star
  • Watch a short animation about space exploration
  • Watch the National Space Centre Show ‘We are Aliens’ (narrated by Rupert Grint)

KS3: 45 minutes:

  • Fly through the Solar System, finding out some of the properties of the planets
  • Identify what to look for in the night sky and learn about different types of star
  • Watch the National Space Centre Show ‘We are Aliens’ (narrated by Rupert Grint)

KS4: 45 minutes - 1 hour:

  • Fly through the Solar System, finding out some of the properties of the planets
  • Identify what to look for in the night sky and identify stars at different points in stellar evolution
  • Watch the National Space Centre Show ‘We are Aliens’ (narrated by Rupert Grint)
  • Watch the National Space Centre show ‘We are Astronomers’ (narrated by David Tennant) detailing how Astronomers use different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum to look into space

KS5: 45 minutes - 1 hour:

  • Tour the night skies, focusing on stellar evolution and cosmology
  • Watch the National Space Centre show ‘We are Astronomers’ (narrated by David Tennant) detailing how Astronomers use different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum to look into space

Assemblies

Astrocampus

KS2/3: IN SPACE, NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM!

How do we get into space? And once we’re there, what happens to our bodies? Why can’t we breathe in space? Just how cold is it up there? And why is it that in space, no one can hear you scream? Find out all this and more with live demonstrations and hands on activities including boiling blood, exploding marshmallows and a rocket launch!

KS2/3: LET THERE BE LIGHT!

From the beginning of the Universe, to its eventual end, find out what light can tell us all about Space. Why is our Sun yellow not blue, how can police sirens tell us about other galaxies, and how did pigeons get in the way of one of the biggest scientific discoveries? Find out with live demonstrations and hands-on activities: from hidden messages and special glasses to lasers and plasma balls!

The Sun

KS2/4: THE SUN – SPOTS AND ALL!

The Sun is a surprisingly exciting place with almost constant activity. This talk outlines some of the key types of surface activity on the Sun and the effects it has on the planet Earth.

Upcoming Events

View Archived Events »

Booking Form

We apologise for any inconvenience, but if you have completed a booking form between 3pm September 9th and 3pm September 12th and not yet received a reply, please could you complete the form again.

Resources

Astrocampus

Here you will find a number of free resources which you can use to learn more about the wonders of the Universe.

This also contains some practical information for groups visiting the site (such as risk assessments).

View our Resource Library »

Contact Us

Astrocampus (c/o Katherine Leech)
Department of Physics
University of York
York
YO10 5DD

Tel: 01904 322 209 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm)
Tel: 01904 322 249 (During Astrocampus openings only)
Email: astrocampus@york.ac.uk

How to find us

The Astrocampus is located on the University of York’s Heslington West campus. Details of how to reach the site are available at the University of York website and the Astrocampus is labelled on the University’s Campus map.

Parking is available in the campus west pay car park (pay and display until 6pm) – access is from the cycle path behind the sports centre.

Astrocampus Map

CYCLE THE SOLAR SYSTEM

How to get there The Route The Model Planets

WALK THE SOLAR SYSTEM

Planets Map About the Model Resources