Day of discovery

20th May 2005 at 01:00
Last term a rocket arrived at Helsby High School with the Starchaser Space Flight Roadshow. The star of the show was the Nova, which was elevated from a horizontal position to a vertical flight orientation, with dramatic effect. The rocket was accompanied by a Starchaser engineer.

It was very impressive when raised to its full height of 13 metres.

Partner primary pupils from Years 5 and 6 came for a day of rocket-related activities. They created, built and then launched their own rockets. Some of these could travel to heights of 60m. It was just as well we decided to launch them outside!

The children heard a presentation from a Starchaser scientist and learned about the design and flight of Starchaser 4. They were then treated to a range of maths, media and RE activities. Maths activities included a word search, Tangrams, constructing an ellipse and an Archimedean spiral. The RE activity was entitled "Brave New World". Pupils considered what they would take from this world to another and what they would leave behind.

Some of our primary guests took part in an activity on why space and predicting the future are so important in the media. Our Year 7 pupils participated in events such as making water or chemical rockets, composing music to be used in a film about space, and acting in a drama entitled Chasing Stars, Achieving Dreams. There was even a drop-in quiz.

Some pupils from Years 7 and 9 took part in a rocket factory - building and launching even more powerful rockets than our primary guests had made. The children also asked many questions about the British space programme.

* www.starchaser.co.uk

Carole Sharp Head of maths, Helsby High School, Cheshire

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