Primary pupils meet astronaut as part of University outreach competition

Four lucky primary school pupils have met British astronaut Tim Peake after taking part in a competition led by the University of Plymouth.

The ‘Out of this World’ competition asked students to draw Tim’s space diet, create a holiday brochure for an exoplanet, or design a space station, with four winners chosen for their creativity and originality.

The initiative was part of the Children’s University (CU) programme – a national scheme where primary children are encouraged to attend university and extra-curricular events, which they chart through a passport to learning.

The University of Plymouth hosts CU alongside its outreach work, with the winners chosen from schools across East Cornwall and West Devon:

  • George Tyrell, Charleton C of E Academy, Kingsbridge (designed a holiday brochure for an exoplanet)
  • Oak Conway, Plymouth College (designed a holiday brochure for an exoplanet)
  • Spencer Coombe, Darite Primary Academy, Liskeard (designed a space station)
  • Blake Canty, Carbeile Junior School, Torpoint (designed a holiday brochure for an exoplanet)

The winners and guests met Tim at his show ‘Tim Peake: My Journey to Space’ at Plymouth Pavilions.

Tim said:

“Every single astronaut or scientist of any kind started out as a school pupil with aspirations, so to meet these children and hear about their designs has been brilliant. Outreach initiatives and competitions like this one run by the University of Plymouth are so important for inspiring the next generation, and I’ve no doubt that these children will go on to achieve amazing things.”

Martin Lavelle, Associate Head of the School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics at the University, and a theoretical physicist who designed the questions for the competition, said:

“We were blown away by the entries we received and the imagination and effort put in to every single one. Thank you to everyone who took part, and especially Tim for making it an incredible experience for each of the winners to remember.”

Ruth Bennett, Education Liaison and Outreach Manager at the University of Plymouth, added:

“Research has shown that by engaging with young children early, universities can raise children’s aspirations to go into higher education – and we’re really proud of the work taking place to make that happen.”

Get a head start through the Children’s University

The Children’s University is a national initiative for children aged 5-14. Children will have the opportunity to attend thought-provoking lectures and engaging activities outside of school hours. The programme covers a wide range of subject areas including art, science, medicine and dentistry.

The Children’s University introduces children to the joy of learning, develops their confidence and helps build aspirations for bright futures.

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