Year 5 trip to Airbus

On Wednesday, Year 5 went on a science based trip to Airbus in Stevenage.

After walking to the train station and sharing the 9.08am train with some commuters (who were overjoyed to share 1 stop of their journey with 59 children) we then arrived in Stevenage. After a short walk to the site, we gazed at the huge satellites and made our way in for a day of STEM learning.

We took part in two activities; one looking at the phases of the moon linked to our Science work, and a practical experiment looking at which liquids would make dirty coins the shiniest. We also had a very interesting talk on the development of the Mars rover and looked at the development and testing chamber where the scientists carry out tests and experiments to prepare rovers for the surface of Mars. Who knew that regular B&Q sand, dried out in a kiln is just like the sandy surface of Mars?

We learnt loads of interesting facts – some of our favourites included:

  • The temperature of Mars ranges between 20’c and -120’c
  • There is a ‘sweet spot’ in our Solar System where the conditions for life are ‘just right’ and this is referred to as the ‘Goldilocks zone’
  • It takes 20 minutes for a signal to reach Mars – then in turn – it takes another 20 minutes to get a signal or photo back again!
  • Names of some of the rovers include Bridget, Bryan and Charlie and any rover that goes to Mars never comes home again – it lives out its days on the planet.

The children were excellently behaved and enjoyed spending time together in the labs (and outside on the floor having lunch!) and the staff commented on how good their manners were, which is always lovely to hear.

We look forward to learning more about space as our science topic continues.