First SPACE Consortium tests with school children in Échirolles, France

The 23 pupils of the “CM1/CM2” class of the Jean Jaurès school in Échirolles have the chance to be part of the SPACE Consortium programme. This Erasmus+ programme funded by the European Union will allow 500 children from the Grenoble region to approach the feeling of the “Overview Effect” felt by astronauts in space and to become ambassadors of planet Earth! On February 9, the group from Échirolles experienced the third session.

© ESA/NASA

In 2022, 500 children from the Grenoble region will take part in the SPACE Consortium programme. The project aims to raise awareness of the changes the Earth is going through using the Overview Effect. It’s about the feeling astronauts have when observing the planet from space: a beautiful and unique little blue marble, protected by a simple thin layer of atmosphere and floating in the cosmic void… This feeling created in astronauts an awareness and a desire to act in favour of the protection of the environment.

Among the students who benefit from the program, the CM1/CM2 class of Catherine Dos Santos at the Jean Jaurès school in Échirolles is the first to try out the activities to be carried out in class before having an exceptional experience. Accompanied by Patrick Arnaud (see below), a teacher trainer at La Maison pour la Science and a partner in the SPACE Consortium project, the students were able to discover the immense sizes of certain objects in the Universe and the distances that separate them. From our Sun to the millions of suns existing in the galaxy to the countless possible exoplanets yet to be discovered, children have been exposed to the wonders and mysteries of the Universe.

Teacher trainer Patrick Arnaud is teaching the sizes of objects in the Universe and the distances from another.

Captivated, students had a thousand questions in mind. Is a planet always solid? How was the Sun created? How are constellations formed? The questions still led to exploring the breathing of whales and the way of life of otters! What a pleasure to see their interest and to hear among the comments of enthusiastic “I understood!”.

The “CM1/CM2” class of the Jean Jaurès school in Échirolles are designing their own planets and aliens.

The second part of the session dealt with the conditions necessary for life. After understanding the factors that influence life forms, students were asked to create their own planet and invent an alien on it. This artistic dimension allowed everyone to express their great imagination. The results are very successful and are now waiting to be joined by the drawings of the other schools involved!

The designs of some of the pupils look promising!

The first 6 classroom sessions will be followed by an exceptional virtual reality experience on board a spaceship.

To be continued!

Written by Audrey Korczynska (Project Manager, La Casemate)

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The SPACE Consortium is a transnational collaboration of education professionals from France, Hungary, Italy and the Netherlands and is supported by Erasmus+. In France, the project is coordinated by La Casemate de Grenoble in close collaboration with La Maison pour la Science Alpes Dauphiné. Thanks to Catherine Dos Santos for her welcome at the Jean Jaurès school in Échirolles.

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SPACE Consortium

SPACE Consortium

Virtual Reality education programme in the making, aiming to inspire children worldwide to take action against climate change.