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Space@Home is a community project all about stars… developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Aimed at children aged 8 to 14, plus their families, carers and friends, the Space@Home: Stars Activity Pack brings star-themed, interactive activities right into people’s homes.

This project was made possible by generous funding from Hastings-based charity, the Foreshore Trust. From early September to late December 2020, we distributed 500 packs to families in crisis due to COVID-19. We were able to deliver these FREE within our local community through local foodbanks, church groups and mentoring charities. We also supported a local primary and secondary school in areas of high deprivation.

Working with Scottish charity, Aero Space Scientific Educational Trust, the project is now being distributed to remote and rural communities within Scotland.

Every pack contains the following resources, but you can download them for free wherever you are…

Little Book of Stars

Written and designed by Space Science Communicator, Melanie Davies from Creative Space, this Little Book of Stars is packed with fun facts about stars – from ‘How the Sun Works’ to ‘Stellar Recycling’. With easy-to-follow text and graphics, plus Star Maps for all Seasons, this A5, 16 page booklet is a perfect introduction to stars and constellations. The booklet encourages families to go outside in the dark and look skywards, as well as signposting children to online space activities through QR codes.

Stars Activity Sheets

Our Interactive Sky Tour is suitable for KS1 and above; it’s also a great choice for public shows, where we can take the audience on a tour of the current night sky. Our live shows often include new discoveries in astronomy, delivered in language that everyone can understand. We encourage questions, which work really well if participants prepare them in advance. These shows are perfect for supporting curriculum-based Space Topics and can help students to understand simple principles of space science like Moon phases and orbits. We incorporate constellations; introduce ‘star hopping’ to find the North Star; and show how Earth’s rotation makes the stars wander across the sky.

VR Headset

A major part of the Space@Home project is the VR Headset. In normal times we’d be offering free planetarium shows as part of our Space@TheStade events, but with COVID-19, we needed to bring the planetarium experience right into people’s homes. It’s a cardboard headset (think Google Cardboard) designed to take a mobile phone loaded with awesome planetarium apps to create a virtual planetarium. If you’d like to buy your own, you can buy cheap ones on eBay, then look for astro apps with the symbol below.

Star Maps

We created these Star Maps as part of the Little Book of Stars. They help you navigate the night sky with constellations, asterisms, and some famous stars. Plus, you can use the maps to do some star hopping – using bright stars to help you find other interesting celestial objets. The maps show you what’s in the sky looking north and south in all seasons. You can either download all of the Little Book of Stars above, or just the star maps here.

Little Book of The Big Bang

A comic-book-style, 16 page booklet about the Large Hadron Collider at Cern and how we use it to help answer fundamental questions about the Big Bang and the start of everything! These have been kindly donated by the Science & Technology Facilities Council, part of UK Research and Innovation.

The Sun

A full colour broadsheet that opens up to an A3 poster; learn how the Sun was born, about space weather, and how seasons and eclipses work. These have been kindly donated by the Science & Technology Facilities Council, part of UK Research and Innovation.

“Really great for Hastings. Informative and fun.
Come again!”

Anon, Space@TheStade: The Spectrum of Space, Stade Hall

Let’s do this together

As with all of our public engagement and community projects, the Space@Home project is only possible through funding and the generous support of partners, contributors and volunteers. If you can help in any way, please get in touch.