Creative Space and COVID-19

Last updated: 12/08/2020

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is impacting the way we work with schools and the wider public. Please read on…

All areas of our space activities have been affected by this pandemic and we have had to make several changes to the way we work. Our staff are our lifeblood; without them, there would be no Creative Space! Almost all of our astronomy outreach is brought to you in our pop-up planetarium, with around 200 children and teaching staff visiting the dome on an average day. Mixing with this amount of individuals on a daily basis would naturally put our staff at an increased risk of contracting the disease and potentially passing it on.

Please see the following information regarding each of the activities we offer; what we’re doing to protect our staff and visitors; and how we’ve adapted our offerings in the short term.

Melanie with pupils from Ethelburt Road School


Our 5-meter Mobile Planetarium seemed quite spacious before the ‘new normal’ appeared. Now it seems very small! Our pre-coronavirus dome capacity was about 30 children/adults per show. With current social distancing this is reduced to 15, which is neither feasible nor cost-effective. Therefore, until we feel it is safe to do so, we will not be offering this activity.

Instead, we are offering all of our live, presenter-led shows virtually, via Zoom. You’ll experience the same, curriculum-linked live astronomy shows right into your classroom. Depending on the show and time availability, we can also include short videos and simulations, plus live Q&As. This will not only be safer for our presenters, but also aligns with Government advice about keeping pupils and teachers safe within the school setting. You’ll need to download Zoom and have a strong internet connection. Click here to visit the Mobile Planetarium pages.

Costs for all shows are the same:
£200 for a half day: up to 3 hours, unlimited shows
£325 for a full day: up to 5 hours, unlimited shows

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Making comets at Birling Gap National Trust


Most of our Space Workshops are very hands-on and work best with small groups of children and adults working close together. In the current climate, we would prefer not to get too close to anyone, so we need to offer workshops in a different way. Many of these activities require specialist materials (like dry ice) and equipment (eg a solar telescope) supplied by us, so some of our workshops will not be available until we feel it’s safe for us to come and visit you.

We’re offering a reduced list of workshops that could be carried out in a classroom or hall, with most resources available to download via Dropbox online file transfer, or live via Zoom (you’ll need to download the software and have a strong internet connection). What we can’t supply electronically is easily available online or from local shops. Here’s what we can offer:

Live Q&A with someone who knows lots about space. Click here for more info.
£50 per one hour session
£100 for a half day: up to 3 hours live engagement
£200 for a full day: up to 5 hours live engagement

Learn about the Solar System, stars and galaxies. Requires iPads and app purchase. Click here for more info.
£30 per workshop: Activity Packs available for download

A yummy way to learn about the Sun and planets in our Solar System. Requires fruit and the means to chop it up. Click here for more info.
£30 per workshop: Activity Packs available for download

A hands-on (and feet-on) activity learning about propulsion and flight. Schools should have most materials and equipment needed, plus a small amount of DIY will be required to make a launcher. Click here for more info.

£30 per workshop: Activity Packs available for download

Apart from the live ‘Ask An Astronomer’ workshop, these will be available as downloadable Activity Packs, with slide shows, worksheets, hand-outs, and links to further learning. 

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Night sky view in StellariumASTRONOMY SCHOOL

Our Spring/Summer Courses had to be cancelled due to Government guidelines on the health and safety of us all. We plan to re-start our Astronomy School at the start of Term 2 at the beginning of November. Even if we are allowed to get closer together by then, we will be limiting the number of students to 10 per course, with courses being repeated through the year. As none of us can predict the future, we will re-evaluate the situation in October and make the final decision on a November re-start then.

We don’t have confirmed dates yet for our Autumn Courses, but if you’d like to register your interest early, enrol now and we’ll let you know dates as soon as we can. Click here to see the courses.

Course costs vary depending on length:
£75 – £150: for weekend to 10-week courses

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Front page of Saturn talk


As large gatherings and meetings are off the table for the foreseeable future, societies and groups have taken to meeting virtually. Our Founder, Melanie Davies, is now offering all of our Lectures & Talks via Zoom. This has been working well and will continue to be an option when social distancing is relaxed. You’ll need to download Zoom and have a strong internet connection.  Click here to visit the Lectures and Talks pages.

Costs for all Lectures & Talks are the same:
£50 for one hour: slide show plus Q&As

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Children getting hands-on with the Secret Writing drop-in workshop at the Space@TheStade electromagnetic spectrum event


We held our last planned free astronomy event – Space@TheStade – during the weekend before lockdown. As with all organisations like Creative Space, we’re not planning to run any public events until further notice. If you want to know how it went, read the Post Event Report.

In place of Space@TheStade, we’re hoping to launch a new community project called Space@Home – free space-based activity packs aimed at 8 to 14 year-olds from deprived areas. More news on this to come.