TSB Competition Day: Let's Build a Rocket!

Let’s Build A Rocket Competition 2018

We were amazed to find out that we had won this competition just a couple of weeks ago and the children had been ‘counting down’ to Thursday’s visit with great excitement. Dr Paul Pester CEO of TSB and Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, Space scientist and co-presenter of ‘The Sky at Night’ arrived early with their team for a tour of school before they led a junior assembly on ‘Dreams and Aspirations’. Dr Paul explained how, as a young child, he had been fascinated by science and had gone on to study physics at university. He demonstrated a favourite experiment – how to snap a wooden ruler with a newspaper – and explained the role of gravity in the experiment.

Dr Maggie told us how she had always wanted to be an astronaut having been inspired by the first cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin and had wanted to build machines that went into space. She demonstrated, to the children’s delight, how to go to the toilet in space and appeared impressed by a child’s suggestion that waste products could be recycled as fuel. Dr Maggie told us about a huge telescope which is being sent to the International Space Station next year and explained how the Interstellar Star Planner worked.

Both doctors answered questions from children including, ‘What other jobs have you done?’ Dr Paul had started out as a paper boy and Dr Maggie had worked at London Zoo dressed as a koala but had moved on to building a missile warning system. They ended their inspirational talk by reminding the children (and adults) that there is a scientist in all of us, that we should be inquisitive and that ‘your imagination is the most powerful thing you’ve got’.

Later, Dr Paul and Dr Maggie led workshops with Year 5 children on how to build a rocket to go to Mars, which was filmed for ‘Made in Liverpool’. The children will be following up the visit by designing, making and launching their own rockets.

Mrs Harper said, ‘We entered this competition mainly due to the enthusiasm the children had shown throughout the space topic and the work which they had produced. We submitted examples of the children’s work alongside our entry which was written by some of the children. I was amazed when I found out we had won and really enjoyed sharing the news with the children.’

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