Landing rockets, hacking computer systems, cycling to produce steam and making DNA bracelets were just a few of the fantastic exhibits pupils enjoyed at this year’s Cheltenham Science Festival.

One of the main attractions was the atmospheric Space Dome where the ceiling was scattered with stars taking pupils to outer spacetotry a variety of space themed activities including landing a rocket on Mars. To land the rocket successfully pupils learnt it is only possible to land on Mars every 18 months, as this is when Mars passes Earth at exactly the right speed and distance. Several of our budding astronauts managed to achieve the perfect landing. They also saw the space suit worn by Russian Astronaut, Yuri Gagarin’s, which was tiny at only 5ft 2”. It was really interesting for pupils to be up so close to this historical piece of equipment as they discovered why the pockets were upside down and how Yuri would have managed the pressure in his suit. Finally, using a green screen, pupils also got to ‘walk’ on the
moon.

The Discovery Zone proved equally as exciting with even more interactive exhibits. Pupils could
impersonate computer scientists working as a team to prevent hackers breaking into Government
Security Systems. Several pupils timed how quickly they could build an Oleo Strut (the wheel at the
front of a plane), whilst others enjoyed making miniature torches and DNA bracelets, using coloured
beads.

Jack Logan, said, “It was a really interesting day, I had no idea science was part of so many different
industries and worldwide projects. My favourite exhibit was driving a drone around a maze, it was
quite tricky negotiating all the twists and turns. I did manage to find my way out in quite good time. I
also enjoyed learning about molecules in the specially built Minecraft world, as I
enjoyplayingMinecraft athome”