• Curriculum Planner

    Download detailed curriculum links and ideas for differentiation for your region: England, Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales. You can also read an overview of the subjects covered by the Space Diary programme below, then visit the Activities page to search for content by Subject. ENGLAND SCOTLAND WALES NORTHERN IRELAND Overview The Space Diary is made up of […]

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  • Abbie Hutty on finding life on Mars and how engineers have all the fun!

    Congratulations on becoming the youngest person ever to become a Fellow at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers! Can you describe a typical day in your work life, for us? I’m the Lead Spacecraft Structures Engineer for ExoMars – Europe’s first Mars Rover mission. That means I’m in charge of the team of experts and specialists […]

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  • Star Apprentice Luke: Making great strides with the Space Diary

    What was the most interesting thing you learnt about space whilst doing the Space Diary? I like learning all about the planet and that astronauts can still eat ice-cream in space but it’s freeze dried. Where would you like to travel if you were an astronaut, and why? I would like to go to Mars […]

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  • 5 Minutes With… Sean Goldsbrough, Orbital Analyst, UK Space Agency

    What is your job – can you describe a typical day in your work life? That’s not an easy question for me! The focus of my work can differ from one day to the next. Today I could be evaluating a potential collision in space and tomorrow I might be working to evolve our national […]

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  • 5 minutes with… Iya Whiteley, Space Psychologist and Director of the Centre for Space Medicine, University College London

    What is your job – can you describe a typical day in your work life? My profession is a Space Psychologist, the title of my job is Director of the Centre for Space Medicine at the University College London. The Centre is part of one of the largest Space Laboratories in Europe, the Mullard Space […]

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  • Star Apprentice Thomas and his love of Lego

    Meet July’s Star Apprentice, Thomas! Thomas (11) wowed us with his superb work – especially his map and comment about going to Denmark and if anyone knows where we could get a space suit like the one Thomas designed, please do get in touch. Here Thomas answers some of our most important space questions.   […]

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  • Dr. Sally Ride: America’s First Female Astronaut

    On 18 June 1983, 32-year-old Sally Ride became America’s first female astronaut to go to space, the third woman in history to go to space, the first known LGBT astronaut to go to space and she remains the youngest American who has gone to space. Dr. Ride, studied at Stanford University and earned bachelor’s degrees […]

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  • Get Some Space These Summer Holidays

    Summer holidays are coming up quick so we’ve put together the ultimate guide to keeping the kids occupied with science, technology, engineering and maths! Meet Yuri Gagarin, Science Museum 5th and 19th July Ages 5-16 £4 Just before the holidays kick-in head to London’s Science Museum and “meet” the world’s first cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin. The […]

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  • Get Your Space Diary Graduation Certificates!

    Have your students finished the entire Space Diary programme and successfully gained all their Mission Badges? Then it’s time for them to be commended for all their hard work and receive their graduation certificates from ESA Astronaut Tim Peake! Simply click the button below and fill out a short form before July 31st 2017 to […]

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  • Star Apprentice Annabelle on meeting Tim Peake and Sam Cristoforetti

    Meet our June Star Apprentice, Annabelle (8). Annabelle has a passion for space and science and was awarded a place at Portsmouth Space Conference to show Tim Peake and the [Principia] team her extensive work. She has been working hard since 2015 and continues to do so. Annabelle recently attended a lecture by ESA Astronaut Sam Cristoforetti in […]

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  • Inspired by Space: Engaging Girls in STEM

    Curved House Kids launch a free guide to engaging girls in STEM to mark the 26th anniversary of British astronaut Helen Sharman’s historic space mission Twenty-six years ago, on 18 May 1991, astronaut Helen Sharman became the first Brit in space, and the first woman to visit the Mir space station. Dr Sharman beat 13,000 […]

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  • Helen Sharman: Britain’s first astronaut

    On 18th May 1991, Dr. Helen Sharman became Britain’s first astronaut in space and the first woman to visit the Mir space station, beating out 13,000 hopefuls after responding to a radio ad requesting ‘Astronaut Applications. No experience necessary’ for Project Juno. “It wasn’t so much going to space as the training that appealed,” she says. “Living […]

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  • Star Apprentice Harry ponders planets, pods and pollution

    Meet Harry, 2017’s very first Space Diary graduate! Harry was so enthusiastic about the Space Diary he sped through all the activities at record speed and produced some inspiring work. Here he discusses how important space travel and science is to understanding climate change and how humans impact the Earth. I would love to travel to Mars […]

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  • Star Apprentice Chloe interviewed by Levi

    Meet Chloe, our very first Star Apprentice! Chloe has produced some amazing work in her Space Diary. She is so passionate about space that she is doing the activities in her own time and we think she’s definitely a contender to be a future astronaut. Here she is interviewed by her friend Levi.  Levi: What […]

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  • Astronaut training for kids

    This article was written by Marianne Hopwood – science teacher, STEM expert and home educator. It was first published on AcornSTEM, Marianne’s blog about STEM activities parents can do in the home. Hands up anyone who has a child who dreams of going into space! My two boys certainly do, so when I found out about the opportunity to […]

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  • Press Coverage

    Here is a snapshot of the coverage of the Principia Space Diary during and after Tim Peake’s mission. We are thrilled to see it featured by the National STEM Centre and many regional STEM organisations and to see it on so many school blogs. You can also visit our School News section of the blog […]

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  • Introducing the Pre-Launch Chapter with Lucy Hawking and Dallas Campbell

    Get off to a flying start with this video with our author extraordinaire, Lucy Hawking, to accompany the Pre-Launch Chapter of the Principia Space Diary. Lucy meets TV presenter and space expert Dallas Campbell at the London Science Museum to talk about what it takes to be an astronaut, how to make sure you’re fit and healthy […]

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  • Chapter One: Richard Garriott on Being an Astronaut

    To introduce us to Chapter One of the Space Diary we asked private astronaut Richard Garriott to share his experiences of going to space. In particular, we wanted to hear what he was doing in the days and hours leading up to the launch and what it felt like at that moment they blasted off. […]

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  • Chapter Two: Helen Sharman on how astronauts communicate in space

    We spoke to Britain’s first astronaut, Helen Sharman, and got her to explain everything about communication in space. Not only do astronauts have to learn other languages for their training and communication in space, but they also have to understand how and when to communicate with earth. Visit the Chapter Two to download the activities, teaching notes […]

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  • Chapter Three: Space Diary Illustrator Ben Hawkes on how to draw the ISS

    In Chapter Three of the Principia Space Diary programme we asked the Space Diary illustrator, Ben Hawkes, to explain how he drew the International Space Station (ISS). Visit the Chapter Three to download the activities, teaching notes and more great resources.

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  • Chapter Four: Astronomer Sheila Kanani talks about doing experiments in space

    Introducing Chapter Four we have astronomer Sheila Kanani talking to Lucy Hawking about doing experiments in space. Visit the Chapter Four to download the activities, teaching notes and more great resources.

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  • Chapter Five: Professor Stephen Hawking needs our help

    Why explore the universe? What is happening to our planet? What would a habitat on another planet look like? For Chapter Five’s video Professor Stephen Hawking asks some important questions about life on our planet, and life beyond. Visit the Chapter Five to download the activities, teaching notes and more great resources.

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  • Chapter Six: Congratulations! You are now a Space Expert!

    Author Lucy Hawking recaps the whole Space Diary mission and highlights some of the excellent work shared with us from participating schools. Congratulations on completing the Principia Space Diary, you are now officially Space Experts! Visit the Chapter Six to download the activities, teaching notes and more great resources.

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  • Tim Peake is going back to space!

    At London’s Science Museum’s unveiling of the Soyuz capsule which brought Tim Peake safely back to Earth, it was announced by Business Secretary Greg Clarke that Tim would be heading back to the ISS in the coming years. While there are few specific details about when the new mission would be launched, the European Space […]

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  • 5 minutes with… Lucy Hawking, Author

    What is your job – can you describe a typical day in your work life? My job is to work with scientists, astronauts and technology experts to find ways to write about their work for a young audience. I do this through story telling – finding a way to weave an adventure story around their […]

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  • 5 minutes with… Vinita Marwaha Madill, Space Operations Engineer at the European Space Agency

      What is your job – can you describe a typical day in your work life? I’m a Space Operations Engineer at the European Space Agency (ESA) working on future human spaceflight projects, including the European Robotic Arm (ERA). The European Robotic Arm has been developed by ESA and is soon be launched to the […]

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  • Collect Your Mission Badges!

    Your students can collect Mission Badges for each chapter of the Space Diary they complete, working their way towards Space Expert status. Cut them out and stick them in the back of your Space Diary and then send us a photo of when you’re done! Download a class pack of stickers here   Download a […]

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  • Run Your Own Spaced-Themed Event: Astronaut Workout

    The first activity in the Principia Space Diary is a 5-station Astronaut Workout. Children will do a range of exercises while they learn what it takes to be an astronaut. You can also connect this activity to childrens’ own experiences by asking them how having a healthy mind and body (just like an astronaut) could help […]

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  • Using Zap Codes to Strengthen Digital Literacy

    This circular symbol to the right is a “Zap” code and you will see these throughout the Principia Space Diary. These codes allow you and your students to access extra content using a mobile or tablet device. It’s free and simple, and a great way to strengthen digital literacy skills. To use Zap codes, follow the instructions […]

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  • Student Reflections and Self-Evaluation Templates

    Download a set of free self-evaluation (reflection) sheets developed by teacher Claire Loizos for the Space Diary programme. Your students can recap on what they learn during a chapter or activity and the different styles of reflection help to develop the skills to digest information and communicate it back to the world. Feel free to use these for other […]

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  • Lesson Plan and Self-Evaluation Templates

    Click on the images below to download PDF templates and start planning your lessons. You can also use the Curriculum Planner for your region to fill in specific curriculum links on your lesson plan. We have also included a range of self-evaluation (reflection) sheets for your students to recap on what they learn during a chapter or activity […]

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  • How Teacher Feedback Has Improved the Space Diary

    Since launching the first edition of the Space Diary in 2015, we have received so many wonderful comments from teachers across the UK. So, before producing the second edition, we asked teachers to complete an evaluation and commissioned a teacher consultant to do a detailed review of the Space Diary. This resulted in a list of excellent suggestions […]

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  • Teacher Feedback and Testimonials

    The second edition of the Principia Space Diary is better than ever, thanks to the feedback and suggestions we have received from teachers over the course of the programme. Each and every comment has made a difference and has kept the Space Diary team motivated! Here is an anonymised selection of your comments. Thank you! […]

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  • Become a Star Apprentice

    Each month we’re looking to showcase some Star Apprentices and we want your students to help us find them! Ask two of your students to interview each other about the best things they’ve learnt about space as they’ve been working their way through the Space Diary, or interview your child if you’re a Home Educator. Encourage […]

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  • Space Diary Homework and Sharing Content with Parents and Guardians

    There are many activities within the Space Diary that are great for after-school or holiday learning. This is a quick guide for how you can share the content of the Space Diary with parents, guardians or colleagues so they can join in the fun! The content of the Space Diary is behind a login area but […]

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  • Our Methodology: Create to Learn, Learn to Create

    by Kristen Harrison, Publisher of the Principia Space Diary. Photo credit: Sarah Winborn.  For those interested in pedagogical methodologies, here’s a whistlestop tour of ours. This article is an overview of the methods and principles that guide our work at The Curved House, and some of the background thinking that has gone into the Principia Space Diary […]

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  • The Principia Space Diary programme returns in 2017

    Principia Space Diary is back, giving thousands of schoolchildren the chance to become space experts as they learn about British European Space Agency astronaut Tim Peake’s historic space mission Curved House Kids and author Lucy Hawking today launch the second Principia Space Diary programme, exactly one year after British ESA Astronaut Tim Peake blasted off […]

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  • The Space Diary is back!

    Principia Space Diary is back, giving thousands of schoolchildren the chance to become space experts as they learn about British European Space Agency astronaut Tim Peake’s historic space mission Curved House Kids and author Lucy Hawking today launch the second Principia Space Diary programme, exactly one year after British ESA Astronaut Tim Peake blasted off […]

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  • Meeting Tim Peake at the Principia Schools Conference

    Imaging meeting Tim Peake! Students from Wellesley did just that at the Principia schools conference. They had the opportunity to meet Tim Peake and some of the space experts who made his mission possible – and us, the Space Diary crew. Here they are are showing off their Space Diaries. The schools conference, organised by the […]

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  • Meet the ORSAnauts

    The Oxford Road Community School’s ORSAnauts watch the live stream of the Principia launch. These guys worked so hard during the whole of Tim Peake’s Principia Mission and they had the chance to meet Tim Peake at the Principia Schools Conference. Visit the the ORSAnauts website to read all about it.

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  • Tim Peake to tour UK!

    Tim Peake is heading off on his post-flight tour of the UK this month, visiting all four UK national capitals along with Leicester, Manchester, Salford and Glasgow. NASA astronaut and crewmate Tim Kopra will join Tim for the visits to Edinburgh, Belfast and London. Tim will be giving presentations at each city, giving his first-hand […]

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  • 5 minutes with… Richard Crowther, Chief Engineer, UK Space Agency

    What is your job – can you describe a typical day in your work life? There’s no such thing as a typical day. One day, I may be dealing with a satellite or rocket that is expected to fall back to Earth after being in space for many years, another I’ll be trying to determine […]

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  • 5 minutes with… Peter McOwan, Professor of Computer Science, Queen Mary, University of London

    What is your job – can you describe a typical day in your work life? I’m a Professor of Computer Science at Queen Mary University of London. I take classes and teach, a bit like a school teacher, but my classes are much bigger and take place in large rooms called lecture theatres, which can […]

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  • 5 Minutes with… Sheila Kanani, Astronomer, Royal Astronomical Society

    What is your job – can you describe a typical day in your work life? My job is Education, Outreach and Diversity Officer at the Royal Astronomical Society. I have no typical day at work! I got to where I am today from a very varied route. I have a PhD in Planetary Physics and […]

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  • Add Space to your Science Week!

    British Science Week has arrived! To help you celebrate, we’ve put together a list of our favourite space-related experiments for your Space Apprentices. We can’t wait to see how you celebrate Science Week. Don’t forget to use #SpaceDiary on Facebook and Twitter, so your photos appear on our Mission Feed. Astronomy This activity will need some […]

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  • Space Apprentices Reach the Halfway Mark!

    By the children of the Gardening Club at Hillmead Primary School, Bishop’s Stortford, Herts When we first heard that we were amongst the schools selected to take part in the Rocket Science RHS for Gardening Campaign, to grow seeds that have been orbiting the Earth for six months, we were really excited and told our […]

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  • Veg in Space! Learn about Space Gardening

    Growing plants in space is an important area of research – especially as we need to explore how we might be able to grow food on planets such as Mars. At the moment, astronauts eat food sent from Earth in packages like in this picture. If we want to spend more time in space, however, […]

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  • Principia Space Diary Highlights

    Here’s a small selection of some of our favourite pics from the Space Diary programme. We’d like to thank all the teachers, schools, parents and guardians for participating by using the #spacediary hashtag on Twitter, it makes us incredibly happy to see all the kids having so much fun with their Space Diaries! If you […]

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  • 5-Minutes with… Mike Salter, Urthecast Electronic Design Engineer

    Mike is an engineer who works at Urthecast. Just two years after graduating from university, two Earth-imagine cameras which Mike had played a major role in developing were installed on the ISS. Not a bad start to a career in space engineering! What is your job – can you describe a typical day in your […]

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  • Exploring our solar system

    This month, our Principia Mission Space Diary investigates some of the things astronaut Tim Peake might see in space, like the planets in our solar system. All the planets orbiting our sun are unique. They have different landscapes, atmospheres and rotation speeds. To help our young Space Apprentices explore the planets without having to leave […]

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