When Willow met Brian!

Today Willow Class visited the Airbus Foundation Discovery Space Centre and met Brain the prototype Mars Rover.

For the first time William Ransom school visited this exciting location where the Mars Rover prototypes are tested by scientists and engineers. Brian, the current prototype, will help Airbus engineers make the latest Mars Rover which is due to be built later this year and launched into space next year. Brian's main purpose will be to drill about two metres into the surface of Mars to look for fossilized bacteria – a sign of life (ie. aliens!!). 

The children were in awe to see such a famous and complex robot!

In the Mars simulation area the children then undertook an activity which helped them to understand the scale of our solar sytem and how the planets are spaced apart.

The class then had time to play and discover in the hands-on activity area. They could test double orbits, electrical circuits, light prisms, robotic arms and the 'spinny thing!'. There was also a thermal imaging camera, satellite speakers and magnets of all shapes and sizes.

The afternoon session was just as exciting as the children got to build their own working model of how the earth orbits the sun and how the moon orbits the earth.

We then all lay on the floor and studied the stars. We were treated to stories about how the stars and contellations got their names. We learnt about Orion, Casiopia, The Plough and identified the stars; Polaris, Sirius and Beetle Juice.

A huge thank you goes out to Shell and Claire who were excellent teachers and hosts.