University of Leicester eBulletin

Space Games

June 2002
No 119

EMBARGOED UNTIL 11 AM WEDNESDAY 12 JUNE
Satellite Card Game Piloted In Leicestershire

FILM/PHOTO/INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES AT THOMAS ESTLEY COMMUNITY COLLEGE STATION ROAD BROUGHTON ASTLEY AT 11AM WEDNESDAY 12 JUNE

Lack of awareness about UK involvement in space science and astronomy missions is widespread, but that could soon change for students in selected schools who are chosen for a test run of a new educational card game featuring scientific satellites.

The game, developed by Mr David Smith, of the University of Leicester Space Research Centre, is called ‘Voyager’, and includes facts about 32 different scientific satellites, including the Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station.

Any UK involvement with the satellites is highlighted on the cards, which also include a web address specific to each satellite, where enthusiasts can find out more information.

Mr Smith has received a grant of £1,000 from PPARC (Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council), which has enabled him to produce a number of copies of the game for testing in Leicester schools.

Following this pilot scheme, ‘Voyager’ will be developed into a fun education tool that – with the inclusion of teachers’ notes - can be distributed to schools nationwide in future.

Mr Smith said: “I have always felt that the general public’s knowledge of scientific satellites needs improving and decided to address this problem by developing a simple card game, aimed at 10 to 13 year old school children. ‘Voyager’ incorporates basic facts about satellites in its rules and also gives additional information about the many satellites of the past, present and future.”

“Trials have been carried out at three schools so far and the response from both pupils and staff is very encouraging, with several of their suggestions incorporated into the latest version of the game.”

“By playing ‘Voyager’, pupils practise numeracy skills and learn some general knowledge, while also having a fun lesson. In the words of one pupil, ‘The game was absolutely brilliant. I haven’t thought science will be fun until today! When will they be in the shops!’”

Note to editors:  Further information is available from Mr David Smith, University of Leicester Space Research Centre, telephone 0116 252 3519, facsimile 0116 252 2464, mobile 07748 526825, email drs@star.le.ac.uk

David Smith and pupils involved in the pilot scheme will be available for photos/interviews at Thomas Estley Community College, Station Road, Broughton Astley, Leicestershire at 11am on Wednesday June 12. Please ask for Colin Foster, Head of Science, at the reception desk for the College. The College number is 01455 283263 – please confirm your attendance.

[University Home] [Press and Publications] [University Index A-Z][University Search][University Help]
Information supplied by: Barbara Whiteman
Last updated: June 2002
University Administration Web Maintainer

This document has been approved by the head of department or section.