Tour operator Visions in Education took a group of teachers to the Euro Space Center in Belgium, to try out the experiences on offer for school visits.
The STEM visit, which runs across three days, is dedicated to space travel and learning about the galaxies and planets through training courses, workshops and numerous interactive exhibitions.
The inspection visit at the Euro Space Center is an annual event which gives teachers, who will be taking their pupils back in the future, a chance to find their bearings, trial what the students will be doing and create risk assessments so the trip runs as smoothly as possible.
Teachers were given in-depth astronaut training in the simulators and stepped into the shoes of a space scientist for a two-hour simulation of a mission on board the US Space Shuttle.
Along with this, teachers were able to sample a multi-axis chair, zero gravity wall and rotating chair as well as a simulation of walking on the Moon or Mars.
Pupils visiting on a school trip get the chance to try out all of this as well as the opportunity to build and launch their very own space rocket on the final day of the residential. This workshop allows students to learn about the principles that govern the flight of a rocket, the basics of propulsion theory and of the stability of rockets in flight.
One of the teachers who attended the inspection visit said that they enjoyed the activities, but also the chance to network with like-minded people.
Mr Hasan, STEM lead at Saltley Academy in Birmingham, said: “As very busy teachers I feel that everyone there appreciated the experience ‘’live’’ as the pupils will experience it. We receive dozens of educational visit marketing emails advertising their packages but as busy teachers, we have very little time to read them so unfortunately, they get deleted or binned.
Mr Rashid, director of science at Ark Victoria Academy also in Birmingham, added: “The opportunity that this visit gave us to interact with other school teachers meant that we could also consider planning with other schools in the area so that we were not compelled to fill a whole coach and could share with known schools.”
For more information about the inspection visit, plus school trips to the Euro Space Center, go to www.visionsineducation.co.uk.