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Blast off with Helen Sharman

11 December 2019

Westminster City School pupils have been hearing from Dr Helen Sharman, Britain’s first astronaut, about her time in space.

Members of our popular KS3 Science Club attended the Imperial College London’s  annual Christmas Lecture, as a reward for their commitment to, and enthusiasm for, the extra-curricular club. This year’s speaker was Dr Sharman, who took her audience on a journey into space, describing her training and preparation, the launch, and what weightlessness felt like. She explained how science is integral to adventure, has an impact on daily life, and can provide an exciting, positive future.

Before the annual lecture there were science activity stands, meaning our KS3 Science Club members were able to participate in different workshops including one in which they made mini comets from dry ice ('frozen carbon dioxide'), icing sugar, sand and carbon!

Westminster City School pupil, Andi, said: “I thoroughly enjoyed the lecture at Imperial. The science stalls were very interesting, while the lecture itself taught me a great many things about space.”

Helen Sharman became Britain’s first space explorer after responding to a radio advert asking for applicants to undertake a space mission. She was selected in 1989, ahead of nearly 13,000 other people, and then spent 18 months in intensive flight training. Her mission launched on May 1991, lasting eight days that were mostly spent at the Mir space station.

The last KS3 Science Club for our Michaelmas term runs from 3pm – 5pm on Tuesday 17 December. Taking place in H204, staff from the Materials Science Department at Imperial College London will deliver an interactive workshop on materials for the environment. All interested pupils are welcome to attend!

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