A group of school children and their educators holding award certificates
Birmingham home school students and their educators recently visited Walsall Arboretum to celebrate completing the ‘Let’s Move to the Moon!’ educational project.

The project, which was funded by the UK Space Agency and Henry Royce Institute, is built around a challenge suitcase, filled with experiments about the materials required for a journey to the moon.

By exploring the contents of the suitcase, participants learn how to get to the Moon, decide what they’ll going to take with them, and discover what they can make when they’re there. Groups of children (11-14) must complete all the missions to reap the rewards. The final goal is launching a 3D-printed rocket (to the Moon)!

The project was co-developed by Dr Leah-Nani Alconcel from the University of Birmingham, in collaboration with partners from the Discover Materials network and Queen Mary University of London.

Dr Alconcel is a spacecraft engineer and lecturer in the School of Metallurgy and Materials. She leads Birmingham’s MSc programme in Space Engineering.

I’m really proud of leading this project. We had a lot of fun developing the space boxes here at the University of Birmingham and it’s amazing to see children and educators making such good use of the resources.

Dr Leah-Nani Alconcel, Associate Professor, School of Metallurgy and Materials

Although the funded period of the grant ended in April 2023, thanks to the hard work of Dr Chris Hamlett and the Discover Materials ambassadors, they have been able to deliver the space boxes to children in schools across the UK. The space boxes are hosted at the University of Birmingham as a well as other Discover Materials (DM) partner universities around the UK.

Teachers and/or home educators of children aged 11-14 can request a free ‘Let’s move to the Moon!’ box by contacting Dr Hamlett. The boxes will be delivered and collected by Discover Materials ambassadors, and you’ll be rewarded with mission patches and mugs (for teachers) on completion of the box!