THEY’RE blasting off at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic First School in celebration of British Science Week.

All week the school has been running space-themed events topped by the arrival of NASA astronaut and engineer Steve Swanson on Friday, March 15.

Steve has logged 4,700 hours in space, has flown on the Shuttle and completed two space walks lasting more than 26 hours and flew to the International Space Station from the Russian Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in 2014.

He’s also an ambassador for the Redditch-based Ogden Trust primary school programme, which is dedicated to promoting the science of physics.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel First School is a partner with the Trust with science as one of its core curriculum subjects, along with Maths and English.

“Because we are part of the Ogden Trust for the first time we have been given funding from the Stephen Hawking Foundation for a ‘Space Camp’,” said the school’s science lead Lorraine Burrows.

That money – some £1,600 in resources – has seen the whole school doing space themed activities in its quest for the Space Education Quality Mark.

It’s put space, and the science that goes with it, at the core of the curriculum with children studying the constellations, meteorites, do bottle rocket launches and much more.

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The youngsters also enjoyed a family learning night on ‘Our amazing Universe’ with top University of Birmingham lecturer Maria Pavlidou.

“On Friday evening Class 2LB are doing a ‘Space Camp’ which involves them taking part in astronaut training and sleeping over in ‘space pods’,” said Lorraine.

“They’ll watch a space film, hear stories about space, eat rock cakes and comet cakes and in the morning they’ll give a presentation to parents on what they’ve discovered.”

The children will also be tackling the Russian language and trying to crack the Cyrillic alphabet in a series of puzzles.

“It’s all about inspiring the children to maybe one day become an astronaut or work on the space programme,” said Lorraine.

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