Space diary fires up primary school children's imagination

Thousands of schoolchildren will have the chance to become space experts as they learn about British European Space Agency astronaut Tim Peake’s historic space mission by taking part in a pioneering STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) literacy project called Space Diary.

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Tim Peake with the Space Diary (c) Curved House
Tim Peake with the Space Diary (c) Curved House

The programme for the diary includes expert input from computer scientist Professor Peter McOwan, the Vice-Principal for Public Engagement and Student Enterprise at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), and is created by publisher Kristen Harrison at Curved House Kids and children’s author Lucy Hawking.

The Space Diary is a pioneering primary science scheme first created in 2015-16 as one of the UK Space Agency-funded education outreach projects supporting Tim Peake’s mission.

It was an instant hit, attracting an estimated 60,000 children in 1500 schools – three times the number it originally hoped to recruit. With Tim now back safely on earth the Space Diary programme has been revised and updated to incorporate the incredible range of resources he generated while aboard the International Space Station.

British ESA Astronaut Tim Peake, said: “Engaging students in STEM has always been at the core of the Principia mission and the Space Diary has proven to be a really effective and empowering resource for doing that at primary school level.

“The Space Diary programme not only teaches children about space and science, but also crosses lots of other disciplines and incorporates books, digital and multimedia to encourage full participation.

Now that I'm back safely on Earth, I look forward to seeing what this new corp of Space Apprentices do with their new Space Diaries."

The Space Diary programme aims to empower children and engage them in STEM learning by giving them the chance to create and personalise their very own book while they follow Tim’s mission.

Students read, write, measure, count, research, plan, draw, code and decode, design and create, invent, imagine and more. They will also have the chance to access videos and photos of Tim’s activities including running the London Marathon aboard the International Space Station (ISS), a range of fascinating space experiments and Tim’s epic space-walk (EVA).

Professor McOwan said: “The space diary is jam-packed full of exciting resources and puzzles, and I hope a chance to create a lasting memory of Tim’s historical journey.”  

The new programme links to the curriculum for Primary Science, Maths, English, British Values, Computing (ICT), Spritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development (SMSC), Design and Technology (DT) and includes exclusive coding activities from Code Club and Rasperry Pi, integration with the Zappar augmented reality app and a wealth of online resources. All lesson plans are differentiated for P1-5 (KS1 and KS2) for teachers in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and extension activities provide extra challenges for those who need them.

Follow the conversation using #spacediary on Twitter and find out more about the Space Diary on the Principia website

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Rupert Marquand
Media Relations Manager