Musical mission to Mars

For a brief few moments next month there will indeed be life on Mars as a brand new tune by singer-songwriter Will.i.am is broadcast from the Red Planet down to Earth.

In the news: Teaching resources - 30 July

School choir joins megastar on his mission to Mars


For a brief few moments next month there will indeed be life on Mars as a brand new tune by singer-songwriter Will.i.am is broadcast from the Red Planet down to Earth.

And joining the Black Eyed Peas front man on his interplanetary endeavour will be a lucky group of more than 30 pupils from Oasis Academy Hadley in Enfield.

The school's gospel choir provided backing vocals for the track, which will enter the record books as the first song ever played on Mars.

The honour was given to the pupils after they provided backing vocals for a contestant on BBC reality television show The Voice, on which Will.i.am appeared as a judge and mentor.

Phil Raw, the academy's head of music and assistant principal, explained that the rapper had approached them after the show and asked whether they wanted to be "part of something amazing".

"Will.i.am said he had written a song, but he didn't really tell us anything about it because it had to remain really hush-hush," Mr Raw said. "It was only after we recorded the single that we heard it was something to do with Nasa and Mars."

In an interview with the BBC's Graham Norton in June, the rapper revealed that the song will be beamed back to mission control as part of an operation to land a robotic rover the size of a car on the planet.

For more on this story, please see this week's TES.



Related resources


Design and build an egg-lander: mission to Mars

  • This cross-curricular exercise gets students using skills learned in science, maths and design technology to launch an egg safely into space and back.

Calling all Mars explorers

  • Set your pupils a futuristic challenge with this rover vehicle-building project.

Solar System Math – Nasa

  • Investigate the solar system scientifically and mathematically to make an informed decision on which planet is best suited for human exploration.

Aliens mystery

  • Take a sci-fi approach to the Red Planet and practice arithmetic in order to save the human race!


Further news resources


First News front page

  • Help your pupils understand the features of the front page of a newspaper.

Write all about it

  • Get students creating their own news report with this step-by-step guide

What is the News?

  • A sociological and media perspective on what makes an event 'newsworthy'.

On the box

  • Help pupils to write their own TV news broadcast with this handy PowerPoint.

Structuring stories

  • A scheme of work to help students structure news stories.

In the news this week


Bradley Wiggins as won the Tour de France, becoming the first British man to do so in the cycling competition's 75-year history.

The Robben Island Bible, is just one part of the new Shakespeare: staging the world exhibition, which looks at the real and imagined worlds of William Shakespeare.

A private school on the south coast will be prouder than most when no fewer than four of its pupils line up for the opening ceremony at London 2012 next week.

Over 1,000 people in the Chinese city of Shanghai were falling over themselves to break a rather unusual world record earlier this week.