Have you heard about the Earth Observation Detective Earth from Space competition and resources?
The National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO) is running a competition for young people linked to the forthcoming International Space Station stay of British European Space Agency astronaut Tim Peake and have also produced a set of resources for schools that provide an Earth Observation context for delivering aspects of the curriculum.
The three winners of the competition will have a photograph of somewhere on Earth taken especially for them during Tim Peake’s Principia mission. This is a fantastic opportunity as taking the pictures will be built into the crew’s official Earth Observation schedule and there is not usually any public input into this. Younger children need only explain their choice of location, while older students are also asked what changes they would expect to see when they compare it with an older picture (KS3) or what else they could find out by using it alongside a false-colour composite satellite image (KS4).
The teaching resources use astronaut photographs and satellite images of Earth covering over 50 years of human spaceflight and highlight how these are used by earth observation scientists to investigate our changing world. However, they are linked to the curriculum for maths, geography, computing and science so could be used when teaching these subjects as well as for cross-curricular or themed work or in extra-curricular activities such as science club or in non-school groups such as Scouts. There are also sample activities on the Principia mission website and the complete set of resources can be obtained from the ESERO-UK Tim Peake page here.
Although the resources support the competition, there is no requirement for students to have used them in order to do so: the details, entry forms and sample entries can be downloaded from the EO Detective pages of the Principia website and NCEO are posting images to inspire students and other updates on Twitter.
PML is a full member of the National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO).