Primary School Students’ Guide to Surviving in the Solar System

Demonstrating the order of the planets

Demonstrating the order of the planets

“What would you take with you on a trip to Venus?”


“A million bottles of water!”


The latest Universe in the Classroom school

workshop took 60 kids on a journey to the most extreme environments in the Solar System, as we wrapped-up their topic for the term: “Castaway”.
The children of Hengoed Primary School have been discovering extreme environments across the globe, but these are nothing compared to those outside of the Earth – Venus boasts 400°C heat all year round and while Europa is just a quarter of the size of Earth, this little moon has up to 3 times more water!

Students share what they know about astronomy

Students share their knowledge of astronomy

The workshops were run for students from years 4-6 by two undergraduate students who are local to the Welsh valleys, Dai Jones and Chay Davies-Smith. We began the workshop using the EU-UNAWE Earth Ball to test their geographical knowledge, before moving on to the Solar System. Students used the Universe-in-a-Box scale model of the Solar System to learn about the placement of planets and moons relative to our star and discuss the effect this has on their temperature.

The kids then contemplated the resources they’d need to survive these extreme environments: oxygen, food and water most importantly, but also rockets to return home, radios to communicate with Earth and more.

We ended the day with a session on past and future manned-missions to space and some ever-popular water rocket launching. A great way to wrap up the last workshop of the term!

If you’d like a STARS workshop at your school, or advice on linking astronomy to your topic of choice, contact us at unawe@astro.cf.ac.uk