Tim Peake has recently become the first Briton to visit the International Space Station and last week undertook a spacewalk. He is fast becoming a hero for not only young space enthusiasts, but also those students less engaged in the subject of Science.  

Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre.

A visit to Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, the National Space Centre or the Life Science Centre can help build on the enthusiasm that Tim Peake’s adventures are conjuring up as they all offer a range of interactive workshops for all Key Stages. School Travel Organiser takes a look at each…

Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, Cheshire

Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, in Cheshire works to inspire the scientists of the future. All school visits to the Discovery Centre give students the chance to get up close to one of the biggest radio telescopes in the world, the Lovell Telescope, which collects incoming radio waves to investigate cosmic phenomena.

Hands-on exhibits in the Space Pavilion are also available as part of the admission cost, whilst schools can choose up to two workshops, for an additional fee, as part of a day visit, some of which are outlined below. 

Planet Mission

Planet Mission is a hands-on, exploratory workshop for Key Stage 1 students, which lets pupils discover the different planets and what they look, sound, feel and smell like. 

Solar System Science

Solar System Science is a Key Stage 2 workshop, targeted specifically at Year 5 and 6 students. Pupils will explore the strength of gravity on different planets, investigate the brightness of sunlight throughout the Solar System, and learn how craters are formed.

The 50-minute workshop covers many topics on the Science curriculum, such as Earth and Space, Rocks, Forces (magnetism), and Forces (gravity).

Workshops at Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre.

Newton & the Space Station

This timely workshop, allows Key Stage 3 students to learn what life is currently like for Tim Peake and his fellow astronauts aboard the International Space Station, as well as offering a combination of practical activities and demonstrations.

Notably, it explores and compares the motion of objects on earth and in space, challenging students on their understanding of forces and Newton’s laws to tie in with the Key Stage 3 Science curriculum topics: Forces, Balanced Forces, and Forces and Motion.


GCSE students can deepen their understanding of electromagnetic waves, the universe and the work of astronomers in this workshop, which uses a combination of practical activities, current astronomical research and mathematics.

The Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre offers detailed resources and classroom activity suggestions alongside all of its workshops.  

National Space Centre

The National Space Centre. Photo credit: National Space Centre, Leicester.

The National Space Centre, Leicester offers a selection of workshops, programmes and trails that support the National Curriculum for all Key Stages.

There are also planetarium shows, including the Astronaut show, where students can imagine stepping into the spacesuit of Tim Peake as they experience a rocket launch and what it feels like to float around the International Space Station.


Designed with Years 2 and 3 in mind, this workshop is also available for Year 1 students if required. Rockets! teaches pupils how different forces work and allows them to design, make and launch their own rocket using the knowledge they have learned. 

Earth, Moon and Sun 

In this workshop, Key Stage 2 students will discover the relationship between the earth, sun and moon through a practical demonstration. Pupils will then get the chance to construct their own moon wheel to show each of the moon phases.

The Great Rocket Challenge

Similar to Rockets! but created for Key Stage 3 students, the Great Rocket Challenge sees students work in small groups to design and launch their rocket onto the moon. Each team will be given strict criteria to adhere to, and must consider the variables that influence the speed and distance at which the rocket will fly. At the end of the workshop the teams will compete against each other to see which rocket reaches the moon.

For school bookings call 0116 258 2147 or e-mail bookings@spacecentre.co.uk

Life Science Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne

Life Science Centre.

The Life Science Centre offers both Science and Planetarium workshops, which provide hands-on activities for children.

Destination Space

This workshop, full of experiments and investigations, is available for Key Stages 1, 2 and 3 as part of the Life Science Centre’s initiative to give students the opportunity to learn about human space flight and the International Space Station as a result of Tim Peake’s mission into space.

Key Stage 1 pupils will investigate the materials used for space suits and learn how everyday tasks are completed whilst in space.

Key Stage 2 students will prepare for a mission to the International Space Station and will be tasked with operating a robotic arm and investigating maximum absorbancy garments for use on a spacewalk.

Key Stage 3 pupils will take on the role of scientist to carry out an investigation to solve an air supply problem in the space station.

Forces and Motion in Space

Forces and Motion in Space is targeted towards upper Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 pupils. They will explore Galileo’s experiment designed to measure the speed of falling objects, as well as investigate the effects of air resistance. Using their knowledge the students will then design and launch their own rocket. 

For more information call 0191 243 8211 or e-mail education@life.org.uk.