Universe-in-a-Box Arrives at Cardiff University

Universe-in-a-Box toolkits ready to be sent to primary schools across Wales!

Universe-in-a-Box toolkits ready to be sent to primary schools across Wales!

It’s been an exciting week for Universe in the Classroom, with the much-anticipated arrival of 100 Universe-in-a-Box toolkits, Earth Balls and “Where is Spacey’s Planet?” storybooks, all to be handed out to 100 primary schools across Wales.

In early 2013, 50 prototype Universe-in-a-Box astronomy education toolkits were sent to 30 countries around the world for intensive testing with children aged 4-11 years. Feedback was then analysed and implemented at the end of 2013. The quality of both equipment and activities were improved, as well as new materials being added to the box.

Finally, on Wednesday of this week, the improved boxes arrived at Cardiff University’s School of Physics and Astronomy. The 100 boxes are now ready to be handed out to primary schools across Wales, with the aim of sparking a lasting curiosity about the Universe in young children.

The boxes will be donated to primary schools selected by the programme, and teachers will be offered training on how to implement the activities and how the subject matter can be linked to the national curriculum, with the aim of encouraging the boxes’ use in welsh classrooms.

The children's astronomy-based storybook, "Where is Spacey's Planet?"

The children’s astronomy-based storybook, “Where is Spacey’s Planet?”

Along with Universe-in-a-Box, each school will receive an inflatable Earth Ball and an illustrated storybook called Where is Spacey’s Planet?

The Earth Ball is an excellent resource for teaching children a variety of vital scientific concepts,  including the shape of the Earth, Day and Night and the Seasons.

The ball has been designed without political borders to encourage a sense of global citizenship in young children. Further to this, the storybook uses the compelling idea of extra-terrestrial life to introduce very young children to different regions and cultures across the planet.

If you are a primary school teacher and would like to take part in Universe in the Classroom please contact us at unawe@astro.cf.ac.uk.