On Wednesday 5 October and Friday 7 October 2022 an incredible 255 classes, from 109 schools (some 7,650 students) from around the world, participated in our latest Lyfta live lessons, this time we visited NASA in the USA to celebrate World Space Week. Classes were among the first to experience this exciting new space-themed storyworld from Lyfta.
Students at Cheam Fields Primary participating in a Lyfta live lesson
Lyfta live lessons are delivered by our engagement team via Zoom, bringing together many different schools for a shared Lyfta experience. This time we introduced "Space Mission Lucy".
Classes across the UK joined in the Lyfta live lesson for World Space Week
Our trainer Noel introduced the Lyfta globe and showed the students where we would be visiting. Together we experienced the amazing sights and sounds of the Rocket Garden, Kennedy Space Center, behind the scenes at NASA and the Milky Way through the 360° spaces on the platform.
Students were asked what they observed in the spaces and what questions their exploration prompted. We had some extremely observant participants! They noticed many small details and asked lots of probing questions about what they experienced. Some noticed the hangers for spacesuits, mysterious equipment and strange lockers and wanted to know what was inside. Some mentioned the noises they could hear, like the humming of the machinery.
They asked why the space was so big, why there were rockets everywhere and whether the rockets could still be used. Many wanted to know who the lady was in the scene and what she did there.
Tweets from classes across the UK who joined the Lyfta live lessons for World Space Week
Noel then clicked on Donya, the lady in the scene, to bring her to life in a short documentary film about her life and work at NASA.
Donya is a female space scientist working on the Lucy mission, a NASA mission launched in late 2021. This exciting mission sees the first spacecraft launched to explore the Trojan asteroids, primitive asteroids sharing Jupiter's orbit around the sun.
Students reflected on what they had seen in the film and shared things they had learned and the questions the film had raised.
"Lucy is about trying to discover the origins of the universe"
"More than a 1000 people were involved in the mission"
"The mission could rewrite what we know about the universe"
"Lucy is named after a fossil"
"The gforce would be quite overwhelming"
"Is it hard to work for NASA?"
"How hot does the rocket get during launch?"
"I'd love to go into space to experience what it is like to experience zero gravity"
"What would be like to actually experience take off?"
After experiencing the spaces and the film, students were asked whether they thought they would like to work with Donya on this mission and were invited to share their thoughts with others on the call:
"I would like to work for NASA - I love space, It's amazing to learn how the solar system was made - it's just amazing. That was incredibly cool."
"I would like to work for NASA - the universe is huge and is rapidly expanding and there could be anything out there!"
"It's a whole new world of information. Space is a thing I've always been excited about. I want to know how they manage to reach the speed they need to lift off."
"I'm inspired to see what is out there and I want to know if there is life on other planets."
"I would like to be one of the people who build the rockets - I'd like to see how they work, how it looks and how it flies!"
Some very well informed classes were able to tell us all more about asteroids and ask some very challenging questions!
"What is the average speed of a rocket?"
"What is the eco footprint for NASA?"
"When will the sun become a giant?"
"Asteroids are not round because they don't have enough mass."
Lastly we visited a 360°space of the Milky Way. Students were asked to sit with the sights and sounds and share how the space made them feel:
Word cloud created from student responses
Some of the older learners had some very poetic responses:
"Looks like someone has torn apart space"
"It feels like a warm embrace"
"It's the backbone of space"
"Looks like dust overwhelmed, like a Jackson Pollock painting"
"A star-soaked sky"
"Mind blown because it looks like something from a movie"
Trailer to Space Mission Lucy Storyworld
Learners were encouraged to participate in some follow up activities and invited to research more about NASA and project Lucy, to design or create a rocket or create a fact file on the theme.
Lyfta subscribers can access the full storyworld including a second film featuring astronomer Cathy and six animations explaining more about the mission by login in now.