In 2015, to coincide with Tim Peake becoming the first British astronaut aboard the International Space Station, the Unlimited Space Agency (UNSA) launched The Astro Science Challenge, a story-led series of interactive tasks designed to engage children aged 7-11 with STEM subjects. UNSA, whose mission is to inspire and help train the next generation of young scientists and space explorers, worked in collaboration with some of the UK’s top science organisations to create high quality lesson plans accompanied by videos with guest appearances from Tim Peake. Project creators the Unlimited Space Agency are launching a free new app for iOS and Android on 10th January to allow children to take part in the project and be inspired by Tim’s mission indefinitely.
The app is a new tool to engage children in STEM subjects. It can be used on the move, in the class room or at home on phones, tablets or computers. Using the app, Cadets are tasked with missions, which are presented through videos on the app and helped along by parents or teachers who are provided with extensive lesson plans and resources. Each mission uses examples from Tim’s time in space creatively linked to the national curriculum. To complete each mission, Cadets upload videos, pictures and writing to evidence their work, which is marked by their Team Leader. Badges are awarded for each successful mission and unlock the next episode in the story.
Tim Peake is a British European Space Agency Astronaut and patron of the Unlimited Space Agency. This project is one of the official education projects supported by the UK Space Agency surrounding Tim’s mission. He said, “The Unlimited Space Agency is great. Their approach to inspiring children about science is rigorous, fun and it works! I’m proud to serve with them on their mission to inspire the next generation of scientists and space explorers.”