By Teresa Gomez, Communications and Marketing

04 February 2019 - 13:16

Earlier this month, our Year 5 students were able to enjoy an exciting visit to Space, thanks to an organized trip to the Madrid Planetarium, including some fascinating workshops. The visit included two exhibitions: “Europe in Space” and “Climate Change: the knowledge to survive”. There was also a lot to learn from a fun film “Polaris”, in which a penguin from the South Pole and a bear from the North Pole showed the children how scientists go about their work and encouraged them to gaze up at the sky and think about natural phenomena.

Since 1975, the European Space Agency, ESA, with its 22 member States, has led the way, cooperating with countries to promote European Space exploration. The ESA develops rockets, satellites and all the other necessary equipment on Earth, to keep Europe at the forefront of Space travel. The exhibition seeks to bring people closer to the ESA´s work, promoting common progress, understanding its various missions around the Solar System and learning about the Cosmos.

Also very important is the fact that the ESA helps us to understand Earth. Its dynamic programme of Space observation allows us to unravel our environment and figure out how to mitigate against climate change. From Space, we are able to watch over natural events and see how humans affect these. From understanding floods and fires, to changes in the polar ice caps, rising sea-levels, oil slicks and even earthquakes.

Most particularly. the children were able to understand just how important this is in the “Climate Change: the knowledge to survive” exhibition. This tries to analyze what has happened up to date in order to better understand what might happen in the near future. The space is around 400 m2 of innovative and interactive experiments which seek to explain phenomena such as the Greenhouse effect or the Coriolis force. There are models which show the unsustainable effect of mass consumption, a virtual globe as well as a collection of exceptional quality fossils where we can see the effects of climate change through the Planet´s history.

Watching “Polaris”, our students were able to learn in a fun way, why Polar nights can be so long in winter. To work this out, those taking part built an astronomical observatory to study the poles in other Planets in the Solar system and they also improvised a spacecraft leaving Earth, looking down, taking it all in. They were able to travel through Space, learning about gravity, got to Mars and Saturn and learned about their differences and similarities to Earth. They also learned to recognize some of the constellations, how to find the North Star and also discovered why we have different seasons, how day time and night time hours vary and the special characteristics of the skies at the Poles.