Education workshops

As part of an education visit to Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, your learners will experience two of our interactive and curriculum-linked workshops.

  • If you are visiting on the Planet or Star packages, your workshops will be preset (please see below)
  • If you are visiting on the Space package, you can choose two workshops out of the ones on offer (some restrictions apply, please see below)

Workshops are led by one of our expert presenters and last 50 minutes. We have developed downloadable resources for each workshop, which can be used to extend learning back at school. Each workshop also has an associated risk assessment, which can be downloaded from our risk assessment page.

Package workshop options:

Planet package

Workshop 1 Workshop 2
Early Years Inflatable Planetarium Journey Through the Solar System
  • Our EY Inflatable Planetarium session includes a 20 minute story, followed by 20 minutes inside our planetarium looking at the night sky.
  • The ‘Journey Through the Solar System’ session is an on-gallery 20 minute session, delivered underneath our clockwork model of the Solar System. Join our presenter for a fantastical flight to visit some of the planets!
  • Please see the associated workshop descriptions below for more details on content, curriculum links, and supporting materials including risk assessments.

Space package

If you are visiting on our Space package, you can choose two workshops from our selection.

One workshop will be held in our Events Space, and one in our Classroom. There are some restrictions about which workshops can be delivered in which space, as listed below.

Key Stage Events Space options Classroom options
KS1 • Inflatable Planetarium
• Journey to the Moon or Destination: Space
• Mission to Mars
• Journey to the Moon or Destination: Space
KS2 • Inflatable Planetarium
• Destination: Space
• Mars Rover Challenge
• Solar System Science
• Mars Rover Challenge
KS3 • Inflatable Planetarium
• The Science of Jodrell Bank
• Newton and the Space Station
• Mars Rover Challenge
• Invisible Universe
• Gravity
• The Science of Jodrell Bank
• Mars Rover Challenge
KS4 & above • Inflatable Planetarium
• The Science of Jodrell Bank
• Life of Stars
• Invisible Universe
• Exoplanets
• The Science of Jodrell Bank
• Life of Stars
A-level Physics • Inflatable Planetarium
• Radio Telescopes
• Pulsars
• Radio Telescopes
• Pulsars
  • Please see the associated workshop descriptions below for more details on content, curriculum links, and supporting materials including risk assessments.

Star package

If you are visiting on our Star package, your learners will experience the following two workshops:

Key Stage Workshop 1 Workshop 2
KS1 Journey to the Moon Mission to Mars
KS2 KS2: Destination Space! Mars Rover Challenge
KS3 The Science of Jodrell Bank Newton and the Space Station
KS4 & above The Science of Jodrell Bank Life of Stars
A-level Physics (40 student minimum) Radio Telescopes Pulsars
  • In the Star package, workshops are taught in the Wolfson auditorium. This is a large teaching space, and two groups are taught at the same time (up to 70 learners).
  • Please see the associated workshop descriptions below for more details on content, curriculum links, and supporting materials including risk assessments.

Workshop descriptions:

EY/KS1/KS2/KS3/KS4/Post-16: Inflatable Planetarium

A presenter led, fully customisable session in our Inflatable Planetarium, suitable for all year groups. Primary school learners explore the current night sky; viewing the seasonal constellations as imagined by the Ancient Greeks and exploring the visible planets.

Secondary school and sixth form learners discuss more advanced topics, including the life cycle of stars, cosmic structure and the expanding universe.

Learners also have the opportunity to put their questions to our presenter. Please let your presenter know if there is anything in particular you want to focus on!

Please note this workshop is in a dark and quiet environment and involves sitting on the floor for the duration (although this workshop is still accessible for those with wheelchair needs). This workshop contains no hands-on elements and is a visual presentation. It may not be suitable for learners with visual impairments.

The Inflatable Planetarium is only available on the Space and Planet packages.

Curriculum links

  • EY: Listening & attention; Understanding; Shapes
  • KS1: Listen and respond; Ask relevant questions; Maintain attention and participate actively; Listening to a wide range of stories; Becoming familiar with traditional tales; Light & dark (IPC: Seeing the light)
  • KS2: Light; Earth & Space; Ancient Greeks
  • KS3: Gravity; Sun as a star; Galaxies; Light years
  • KS4 & Post-16: Types of stars; Life cycle of stars; Nuclear fusion & nucleosynthesis; Galaxies and large-scale structure; Expanding universe
Downloadable materials 

There are lots of online resources to help learners explore the night sky – see our teaching resources page for our recommendations!

Workshop RA available on our risk assessment page.

EY: Journey Through the Solar System

This is a 20 minute mini-workshop session, taking place underneath our clockwork Solar System! Led by one of our expert presenters, we’ll pack our rocket for space; take a trip to Mars and Jupiter, find out how they are different from Earth; and play a game or two on the way!

This workshop is part of the Planet package.

Curriculum links

  • EYFS: Understanding the world
Downloadable materials

Workshop RA available on our risk assessment page.

 

KS1: Journey to the Moon

In this workshop your learners will discover more about the incredible journey of Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins on the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon, in 1969.

Interactive elements in this workshop include learners deciding what items to pack for space, making their own paper rockets to take home, plus one learner gets the chance to dress up as a lunar astronaut!

This workshop is available on the Star and Space packages. Please note, this workshop cannot be booked in conjunction with the ‘KS1: Destination Space!’ workshop as it contains some of the same activities.

Paper rocket making requires handling of equipment; scissors, pencils, and glue.

The Apollo 11 lunar landing mission crew, pictured from left to right, Neil A. Armstrong, commander; Michael Collins, command module pilot; and Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., lunar module pilot.

Curriculum links

  • Science: Basic needs of animals, including humans, for survival
  • History: Lives of significant individuals – Neil Armstrong
  • Art: Use a range of materials creatively
  • IPC: Science – Push Me, Pull You! (Forces)
Downloadable materials 

KS1: Destination: Space!

In this workshop your learners will find out what life was like for British astronaut Tim Peake, during his amazing time on board the International Space Station, in 2016.

Interactive elements in this workshop include learners deciding what items to pack for space, figuring out what our mystery objects are used for on the Space Station, and making their own paper rockets to take home!

This workshop is available on the Star and Space packages. Please note, this workshop cannot be booked in conjunction with the ‘KS1: Journey to the Moon’ workshop as it contains some of the same activities.

Paper rocket making requires handling of equipment; scissors, pencils, and glue.

Curriculum links

  • Science: Basic needs of animals, including humans, for survival
  • Art: Use a range of materials creatively
  • IPC: Science – Push Me, Pull You! (Forces)
Downloadable materials 

KS1: Mission to Mars

This workshop is new for 2019/20.

In this hands-on and sensory workshop, learners will journey on a Mission to Mars to discover what the Red Planet is like, collect samples to bring back to Earth and see a Martian volcano erupting!

Interactive elements in this workshop include learners exploring what Mars looks, sounds, feels and smells like, as well as identifying and sorting “Martian” samples and solving simple mathematical puzzles appropriate for Key Stage 1.

This workshop is available on the Space package, and is part of the Star package for KS1.

Risk assessment and curriculum links available soon!

KS2: Solar System Science

In this hands-on and engaging workshop, learners complete a series of experiments which explore a variety of science concepts, each linked to the Solar System. Learners work in groups, developing their investigative and team-working skills.

Experiments include: exploring the strength of gravity on different planets, investigating the brightness of sunlight throughout the Solar System, testing the pH of sand like a Mars rover, and performing a series of tests to identify a real meteorite!

Our consolidation materials (available to download below) allow learners to analyse and interpret their results back at school.

This workshop is only available on the Space package, and is recommended for Years 5 and 6. Learners must be able to comprehend written instructions. We also recommend that at least three adults are present to support learners’ activities, in addition to our presenter.

Curriculum links

  • Science: Working scientifically
  • Science: Earth and space
  • Science: Forces (gravity)
  • Science: Rocks
  • Science: Forces (magnetism)
  • Science: Light (the Sun)
  • English: Reading and comprehension
Downloadable materials

KS2: Destination: Space!

In this interactive workshop, learners find out more about British astronaut Tim Peake and his mission to the International Space Station, in 2016. They’ll learn about some of the key skills needed not only to be an astronaut, but a scientist or engineer working in the space industry.

Interactive elements in this workshop include learners working together to construct and test a circuit, and taking readings of their own health and fitness data. This workshop also features an explosive rocket engine demonstration!

This workshop is part of the Star package for KS2. It is also available on the Space package, but cannot be booked in conjunction with the Inflatable Planetarium, as it is delivered in the same location.

Curriculum links

  • Science: Working scientifically
  • Science: Earth and space
  • Science: Forces (gravity)
  • English: Reading and comprehension
  • Science: Current space mission
Downloadable materials 

KS2/KS3: Mars Rover Challenge

This is a hands-on, team-building workshop, suitable for Years 3 to 9! In this workshop learners find out more about the Red Planet, the current Curiosity mission on Mars, plus some of the engineering challenges in landing crafts on another planet.

Teams of learners must then work together, to construct a device out of limited resources, to safely land their own fragile cargo (an egg!) in the classroom.

Please note this workshop makes use of balloons and raw eggs.

This workshop is available on the Space package, and as part of the Star package for KS2.

Curriculum links

  • Science: Working scientifically
  • Science: Forces (gravity, resistive)
  • English: Spoken language
  • D&T: Design & Make
  • Science: Mars
  • Science: Current space mission
Downloadable materials

KS3: Gravity

In this hands-on, interactive workshop your learners will discover more about the force of gravity, as described by Sir Isaac Newton.

Learners perform a practical, data-logging investigation to determine the strength of gravity on Earth. Learners then use a 3D model of space to better imagine the force of gravity acting on objects like stars and planets.

This workshop is only available on the Space package.

This workshop was developed as part of the STFC funded Big Telescopes: Big Science project. The lesson plan and digital resources for this workshop can be downloaded to run in schools.

Curriculum links

  • Scientific attitudes
  • Experimental skills
  • Forces
  • Light waves
  • Space physics
Downloadable materials

KS3: Newton and the Space Station

In this interactive and engaging workshop, learners will deepen their understanding of forces and Newton’s third law as well as discovering what life is like for astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

This workshop includes a variety of practical activities and demonstrations.

This workshop is available on the Space package, and is part of the Star package for KS3.

Curriculum links

  • Forces
  • Balanced forces
  • Forces and motion
Downloadable materials 

KS3/KS4/Post-16: The Science of Jodrell Bank

This workshop is new for 2019/20.

Details will be available soon!

This workshop is suitable for KS3, KS4 (including GCSE & BTEC), as well as post-16 learners.

This workshop is available on the Space package, and is part of the Star package for KS3, and KS4 and above.

KS3/KS4/Post-16: The Invisible Universe

In this workshop learners find out about the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope, which will observe the universe in the infrared. As part of this workshop learners conduct two practical activities; our ‘laser telescope challenge’, and heat shield investigation. Both test learners’ scientific enquiry and problem solving skills. As well as this, learners are introduced to the EM spectrum with an infrared camera demonstration, plus find out about some of the STEM careers currently available.

This workshop is suitable for KS3, KS4 (including GCSE & BTEC), as well as post-16 learners.

This workshop is only available on the Space package.

Specification links

  • Electromagnetic spectrum
  • Experimental skills and strategies
  • Space physics
Downloadable materials

KS4/Post-16: Life of stars

This workshop is new for 2019/20.

Details will be available soon!

This workshop is suitable for KS4 (including GCSE & BTEC), as well as post-16 learners.

This workshop is available on the Space package, and is part of the Star package for KS4 and above.

KS4/Post-16: Exoplanets

This challenging and engaging workshop uses a combination of practical activity and mathematics to give learners an insight into the hunt for exoplanets; a very exciting and current area of astronomy research.

An exoplanet is a planet outside our Solar System, orbiting another star in space. Learners collect data using a practical activity that replicates the transit method of detecting exoplanets. They then analyse their results, by rearranging mathematical equations, to determine some properties of their exoplanet.

This workshop is recommended for learners working towards GCSE maths at grade 4 and above, as it involves rearranging mathematical equations.

This workshop is only available on the Space package.

This workshop was developed as part of the STFC funded Big Telescopes: Big Science project. The lesson plan and digital resources for this workshop can be downloaded to run in schools.

Specification links

  • Electromagnetic spectrum
  • Experimental skills and strategies
  • Maths: Using and rearranging equations
  • Interpreting results
Downloadable materials

  • Project page
  • (includes lesson plan and digital resources to run in schools)

A-level Physics: Radio Telescopes

In this workshop we introduce learners to the use of radio telescopes. They investigate why the parabolic structure of the Lovell Telescope is essential and how the size of a telescope relates to its resolution. Then, using real data collected by the 6.4m telescope at Jodrell Bank, learners calculate the rotation speed and mass of the Triangulum galaxy.

Due to the advanced maths and physics content, this workshop is only suitable for learners studying A-level Physics.

This workshop is available on the Space package, and is part of the Star package for A-level Physics.

Specification links

  • Multi-wavelength astronomy
  • Focusing rays
  • Resolving power
  • Interferometry
  • Pulsars
  • Redshift
  • Interpreting data
  • Using and rearranging equations
Downloadable materials

A-level Physics: Pulsars

Pulsars are a major area of research at the Jodrell Bank Observatory, with around 50% of the Lovell telescope’s time spent observing pulsars. In this workshop learners will gain an insight into pulsar research, and the work of Jodrell Bank astronomers. Learners find out more about the formation of pulsars (linked to the life cycle of stars), and their discovery in 1967 by Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, before calculating a pulsar rotation rate, using the concept of conservation of angular momentum. Finally learners discover how astronomers hunt for pulsars and how they can get involved themselves, via Jodrell Bank’s Pulsar Hunters project.

Due to the advanced maths and physics content, this workshop is only suitable for learners studying A-level Physics.

This workshop is available on the Space package, and is part of the Star package for A-level Physics.

This workshop was developed thanks to an STFC funded Public Engagement Award.

Specification links

  • Life cycle of stars
  • Conservation of angular momentum
  • Interpreting data
  • Using and rearranging equations
Downloadable materials