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Out of this World Space Celebration at St Peter’s

The new school year cannot come soon enough for science fans at St Peter’s CE Juniors in Broadstairs – they will be making contact with the cosmos.


In October the exciting news for pupils is that they will be hosting a direct radio liaison with the International Space Station miles above Earth.

Head Teacher Tim Whitehouse said: “There is a real buzz of excitement already around the school and we are all looking forward to linking this fantastic experience in with our fast-expanding science learning.”

Contact is being made via the ARISS programme (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station). This will allow children to pose questions to astronauts who are actually currently on board the International Space Station in orbit above their heads. The inspirational event will be broadcast to all children and staff in school.

To prepare the children for their adventure to the stars in the early autumn, St Peter’s hosted a special ‘space celebration day’ as part of the Ogden Trust Kent North Coast partnership.


The school’s award-winning science teacher Nathan Williams organised the event for around 200 pupils including those from Palm Bay, St Gregory’s, and Spires Academy.

Activities and experiments included making and launching stomp rockets, sending water rockets into the air, solar gazing through powerful telescopes with volunteers from Ramsgate Stargazers, and creating a pocket solar system. 

A visit from the Wonderdome mobile planetarium transported the young space cadets to the stars on an educational trip around the solar system.

Mr Whitehouse added: “It was a fantastic day for children and staff and it was a wonderful way to excite the children and prepare them for the contact with the space station.”

Teachers were also impressed with the event. Comments included  “the children were excited because they were engaged in pre-learning about one of their Year 5 topics, “;“children were able to see how science is used in the real world,” and “ they were inspired by the speakers - especially the people who ran the telescope activity.”

*The Ogden Trust Kent North Coast Partnership is made up of ten primary schools and three secondary schools across Thanet and Canterbury. It aims to increase the uptake of physics post-16 by supporting physics education and engagement for all young people (4-18), particularly those in under-represented groups. The Trust supports schools, teachers, projects and programmes that are committed to enhancing physics teaching and learning.


ARISS Fact File:  ARISS lets students worldwide experience the excitement of talking directly with crew members of the International Space Station, inspiring them to pursue interests in careers in science, technology, engineering and maths, and engaging them with radio science technology through amateur radio.

The ARISS programme was created and is managed by an international consortium of amateur radio organisations and space agencies including National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the USA, Rosaviakosmos in Russia, Canadian Space Agency (CSA) in Canada, Japan Aeronautics Exploration Space Agency (JAXA) in Japan and European Space Agency (ESA) in Europe.