In March 2016, Armagh Planetarium debuted a new workshop for schools ‘Robotics in Space’. This interactive workshop highlighted the roles of robots and robotics in space missions, discussed what robots are currently in space as well as how can they be programmed and controlled. This new workshop was made possible with funding secured from the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister as part of the Together Building a United Community initiative (T:BUC).
Over 300 children participated in this three day event. The schools were from various Urban Villages across Belfast and Derry/ Londonderry. The funding allowed children who had never visited the Planetarium before to participate in activities which where ran onsite in Armagh and on tour in the Skainos Centre in Belfast as well as providing transport for all the schools to make the journey possible.
A very special guest star, Titan the Robot also made an appearance at the beginning of the week. The 8ft robot, Titan dazzled the hundreds of children by singing songs, dancing and interacting with the crowds. After visiting Armagh, Titan went on tour to the Skainos Centre in Belfast to bring his antics to school children in Belfast.
Opportunities like TBUC allow Armagh Planetarium to create, plan and deliver new content to new audiences, encouraging STEM and an interest in space and astronomy to many school children at the same time. This is the first time the Planetarium has participated in this initiative and the very positive feedback from the pupils and teachers suggests a demand for events like this to continue in the future. Next year we would like to continue the success of this year and deliver more interactive activities to even more schools and pupils.
To infinity and beyond….
(Article by Martina Glass, Senior Education Support Officer)