Pupils from Bampton School will take one giant leap in their understanding of space this October when they will be asking questions to an astronaut live on board the International Space Station! Over the summer holidays are researching great things to ask and around 15 of the best will be selected.
The children will have about ten minutes to ask their questions as the ISS zooms overhead at five miles per second! They will use special amateur radio equipment provided by ARISS UK, a team of volunteers that establish the contact.
Bampton School is the only state school in the country to have been awarded the opportunity this year, following a rigorous selection process.
Head Teacher Gary Bladon says, “I am thrilled that we have been able to secure such a unique experience for the children of Bampton School. It really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the school and the wider community in Bampton. We have changed next term’s topic to look at the subject of communication with all sorts of activities planned in and out of school time to create a real impact and a lasting legacy.”
The contact is currently scheduled for the week commencing Monday 7 October. There will be a screening of the event at the Riverside Hall in Bampton for parents and residents who wish to see it. It’s likely that schools across the county will be watching too. Anybody interested can watch the contact as it will be streamed on this link live.ariss.org Amateur radio enthusiasts all across Northern Europe will also be tuning in to the downlink radio frequency from the ISS.
Nick Bull has three children currently attending the school and is coordinating the contact as a result of his interest in amateur radio. Nick says, “This has brought three things together that are all close to my heart – my children, radio and space! I can’t wait to see the look on the children’s faces when the astronaut’s voice begins to crackle through the static. I have been to a previous event to help set this up and I can tell you it makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. The drama and tension is something I’ll never forget. It will be no different in Bampton!”