Archbishop Courtenay Primary School

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Archbishop Courtenay Primary School

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Space investigation

Exploring space, the solar system, the planets, and the moon.

Objective: Researching the different features of space and human interest in it

The big questions:

  1. Why is the Moon so important for life on Earth?
  2. What is the history of space exploration?
  3. What are the different life stages of a star?
  4. How are space rockets and other space craft made?
  5. What are bionic hands?

Things to think about

What do the planets in our solar system do?

What are the other planets in our solar system?

Could humans live on any of the other planets?

Why is space so important to humans?



  • Junk modelling materials and glue/tape
  • Internet access for research
  • Art resources

Additional resources




Tasks - choose one or two

  1. Moon Moves - Research the importance of the Moon to life on Earth. Research the movement of the Moon relative to the Earth and create a model of the Earth, Moon and Sun. Here is an idea of how you could do it:



2. Through Space and Time - Find out about space exploration history and create a timeline of how people have travelled into space. Think about when the first rocket was launched. When did the first man travel to space? How about the first woman? What other significant events can you add to your timeline? 



3. Connect the Dots- Examine the different life stages of a star and explore the names and shapes of some famous constellations. You could create a poster displaying the different constellations  which can be used to teach others. Make it as creative as possible.




4. Mission to Space - Research the different components of a spacecraft and using your understanding of this, design your own spacecraft. Think carefully about what it needs to include in order for astronauts to survive in space. Can you make a small scale model using resources from around the home? There might be inspiration here 




5. Mission X – Building a Bionic Hand
 It is difficult and tiring for humans to work in space. Bionic hands that can be remotely operated can help humans work more efficiently in space. Try making a model bionic hand using cardboard, straws, string and elastic bands. You will need to think about how a human hand works to help you with your design. You can find out more here.


What is the most important variable for this experiment (what is the most important thing for carrying the most passengers)? Is it size, shape or material? Is it a combination of these?


Ideas and learning extensions

  • Why not take pictures or film your experiment?
  • Make notes of what you find out
  • Jot down your findings in a table or a diary




  • How old is the Moon?
  • How far away is the Moon?
  • How long would it take to walk to the Moon, if it were possible?
  • Has there ever been life on the Moon?




  • Why might exploring space be important for humans?
  • Could there be aliens or other forms of life in space?
  • Sending rockets into space is very expensive. Do you think it is the right thing to do when considering all the people living in poverty in the world?



  • What gases make up a star?
  • How close could we fly to the sun before it got too hot?
  • What would happen if the sun stopped shining?
  • What have constellations been used for in human history?




  • What famous space craft have there been in history?
  • What materials do space craft used? Why do you think they have been used?
  • How much fuel does it take a space rocket to blast off from Earth?
  • How fast does a space rocket move when it blasts off from Earth? How heavy is a space rocket?




  • Why is space dangerous for astronauts?
  • Instead of sending humans up into space, what other ways could we explore space (use your imagination!)?