What is the Astro Science Challenge?

At its simplest level the Astro Science Challenge is a series of 18 Activity Plans, available on this website, for you to use as the basis of lessons for your students. However… we have also created a story world, accessed through an app or on desktops, which references the real science and significantly enhances and deepens the children’s engagement through their interaction with fictional characters.

Students can use the Astro Science Challenge app to follow the story, create their own Cadet account and choose their avatar, to write and upload all their work and to claim badges when they’ve finished a Mission. Team Leaders can monitor their Cadets’ progress and award badges for completed Missions though the Team Leader Admin section on this website.

Outstanding! Many activities and resources that I will incorporate into my plans for years to come. I and the children loved every challenge and we have all learnt so many new things.” Key Stage 2 Leader, Years 4-6

We have created the six Missions that comprise the Astro Science Challenge in close collaboration with our Science partners and professional teachers. Each Mission has a range of tasks for a range of learning abilities, all mapped against the UK’s Key Stage 2 curriculum. Each one is introduced by a video from our Director of Human Spaceflight, Jon Spooner – below is an example of the videos you will see on the app.

Sounds great! How do I get started?
Download the correct App for the devices your Cadets will be using.

download_on_the_app_store_badge_us-uk_135x40        google-play-badge
Or you can go to the desktop version

If you would like detailed information about how to run the project, we strongly recommend that you download and read the How To Do the Astro Science Challenge document on the Team Leader Resources section. If you still have questions, have a look at our FAQ page.

In the Team Leader Resources section you will also find all the downloadable Activity Plans, Powerpoint presentations and additional resources for each Mission. The Activity Plans have been co-designed in close collaboration with our Science Partners and teachers. And it’s all FREE!

These are all the people who have worked on producing the Astro Science Challenge

I’m a Home Educator, can I play too? Yes absolutely… whilst the Resouces are all designed with the National Curriculum in mind, you can definitely use them at home. Hundreds of Home Educators have already taken part and adapted the Resources to their needs.

We would like to congratulate you on the whole project and on the extensive resources you provide. Our approach to education is not conventional, so we welcome challenges like this one that provide excellent educational tools.” AstroMum, AstroDad and AstroKid (aka Trof) from the Blue Planet


What is the Unlimited Space Agency?

The Unlimited Space Agency (UNSA) has been developed by Unlimited Theatre to produce our award-winning range of arts projects designed to inspire and engage young people in STEM subjects. UNSA’s mission is to inspire and help train the next generation of young scientists and space explorers. Our patron in the British astronaut Tim Peake. We’ve won loads of awards including one from NASA :)))))

In November 2015 we launched the original version of the Astro Science Challenge – our most ambitious project to date with more than 10,000 Cadets taking part in the run up to Tim’s launch! This is what some of their Team Leaders had to say about the project:

“My class find Jon and his Space Shed videos hilarious!” Sarah – Primary School Teacher

“We are loving it. Homeschooling my gifted 6 year old and it’s pretty hard to find things that really stimulate and excite her…this really has…so thankyou, thankyou…. She is delighted by the exciting content but also by the humour of the Space Shed and Jon Spooner….and the human and story connection that makes learning feel fun to her again….She is planning to make a video presentation about sun spots and is full of lots of very crazy ideas….going to be fun” – Home Educator

“Loved having videos to launch the learning challenge – all the children singing along and so excited about learning… I have 120 inspired children! – Teacher

“It has made them feel that they have the ability to pursue a science career as an adult. Thank you for returning some of that awe and wonder that science gives children. My son and myself were certainly inspired by the whole experience.” – Home Educator

“We loved it! I really liked the variety of the tasks, the flexibility and open-endedness that allowed for lots of different ideas and ways of completing them. The people running it made a great effort to engage with all the children and their comments and posts were very motivating” – Teacher

“Certain areas where my children struggle have shown an improvement that I put down to the Astro Challenge. In particular, prior to the challenge starting my son was saying he was ‘no good’ at writing and needed a lot of encouragement and help. Afterwards, he wrote his first spontaneous, no adult help, sentence. They both became more interested in space.” – Home Educator

“Previously J has struggled to present his science knowledge, despite enjoying experimenting and learning through discussion and research. On the challenge he wanted to do all the work, and spent far longer than expected on each piece of work as he wanted to really understand everything. In wanting to complete the challenge he was more open to other topics that would have otherwise been passed over.” – Home Educator