School trip is out of this world

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Woodham Academy students descended on Tim Peake’s space capsule during an out-of-this-world school trip.

In June 2016, the UK astronaut returned to Earth in the Soyuz descent module after six months on board the International Space Station (ISS).

Woodham Academy students visited the Soyuz capsule, which is currently on display at the Locomotion museum in Shildon as part of a national tour.

The students donned an astronaut suit, examined the capsule, learnt how the rocket stages lifted the Soyuz spacecraft from Earth into orbit to dock with the ISS, and how the descent capsule is angled and covered in heat shields so it wouldn’t burn up on re-entry.

They also experienced virtual reality training for astronauts and heard a talk from Dr Peter Edwards from Durham University on space exploration and life on other planets.

To coincide with the tour, staff from the Science Museum’s Outreach Programme also visited Woodham Academy to demonstrate a series of eye-catching experiments exploring the themes of forces and rockets.

Andrew Jenkins, Head of Science at Woodham Academy, said: “We were keen to organise the visit to the Soyuz module and for the Science Museum to come to Woodham Academy as we seek to give students every opportunity to engage with science and develop their interest in the subject. These visits demonstrated how everyday observations can be the first step into rocket science.

“It is our aim at Woodham Academy to inspire the next generation of scientists, and great pioneers such as Tim Peake.”

Andrew DowsonSchool trip is out of this world