Primary School Outreach
The Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation schools outreach programme engages with hundreds of primary school pupils each year. The focus is on working with pupils in Key Stage 2, particularly Year 5, although there is limited capacity to work with children in other year groups. Further information about the different activities is given below, but please get in touch with Dr Jen Gupta if you have specific requirements.
UP for Space
The ICG’s main offering for Primary Schools is ‘UP for Space’ (A Visit from Space), which visits a different primary school each month for a morning of astronomy-related talks and activities. Pupils will explore the scale of the solar system, contribute to galaxy research and find out about how astronomers use invisible light to study the Universe. Read about a previous visit here.
UP for Space is booked through the University of Portsmouth’s Education Liaison and Outreach Team, and priority is given to schools that participate in the UP for Juniors scheme. Information on how to book UP for Space is sent out at the start of each school year.
Stargazing for Schools
The ICG collaborates with HMS Warrior 1860 and Action Stations at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard each January to hold a ‘Stargazing for Schools’ day for Year 5/6 pupils. Primary schools in Portsmouth and the surrounding area are invited to bring a small group of children to the event, where they participate in activities covering astronomy, stargazing and navigation.
ICG researchers and physics students are also available for one-off visits to primary schools. While there are several talks and activities that have been designed for this age group, please do ask if there is a specific topic or part of the curriculum that you would like to be covered.
A popular visit is themed around ‘The Scale of the Universe’, and involves a talk and Q&A to the whole group, followed by a 30 minute activity on the scale of the solar system, which is delivered to each class in turn. An example timetable is given below.