UK National Space Centre hosts ESA astronaut in live space conference

For the benefit of over a hundred eager school children

National Space Centre

A pupil at the National Space Centre puts his question to astronaut André Kuipers

Over a hundred lucky school children were at the National Space Centre in Leicester last week to take part in what can only be described as the world’s most exciting physics lesson, when ESA astronaut André Kuipers conducted a series of experiments from on board the International Space Station during a live videoconference.

The Leicester group joined hundreds more children at science institutions across Europe to participate in the once in a lifetime event.

The aim of the conference, Take your Classroom into Space, was to help the pupils understand how gravity and convection, the phenomenon that distributes heat around the Earth, was altered in space.

Before they were given access to the ISS, the children carried out their own experiments on the ground, creating explosions and super-thick foams using soapy water.

From space, Kuipers (below) demonstrated the effects of weightlessness and carried out similar experiments to the ones carried out by school groups on Earth and showed how the foam bubbles lasted much longer on board the ISS as there was no gravity to pull them down.

The students were also given the chance to ask Kuipers questions directly during an inspiring panel discussion.







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