Astronaut Tim Peake inspires school students to reach for the stars

AN EXPLORER who shot into space was “amazed and inspired” when he visited a school to speak about his colourful career.

Tim Peake, who flew to the international space station in 2015 with the European Space Agency, was welcomed to Sir Thomas Wharton Academy in Edlington to talk to schools across the region about his life experiences as well as getting involved in activities.

He was the second person to represent the United Kingdom in space after Sheffield cosmonaut Helen Sharman.

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Staff and students from several other schools — Maltby Manor Academy, Maltby Redwood Academy, Maltby Academy, Wath Academy, Ravenfield Primary Academy, Edlington Victoria, Edlington Hill Top School, Willow Primary School,  Carr Lodge Academy, Mallard Primary School, and Maltby Lilly Hall Primary — also attended the special “An Evening with Tim Peake”.

Gemma Harris, librarian at Sir Thomas Wharton Academy, who helped to arrange the event, said: “We firmly believe that exceptional experiences for the students should be at the heart of all that they strive to achieve.  

“Having Tim visit the academy for the afternoon was a prime example of them achieving their vision and growing the aspirational culture of the school.  

“The children were encouraged to engage in problem-solving activities together ahead of Tim's arrival, which included some brilliant examples of stable structures made with dried spaghetti and marshmallows.

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“Each school had also prepared an aspirational letter to Tim, telling him their interests and hopes and dreams, as well as how his story has inspired them.

“Tim arrived in time to hear a few of these letters, and it was clear that inspiring children to follow their dreams is something that is important to him as he was visibly moved by the students’ words.”

Ms Harris said Tim had been both “amazed and inspired” when he spoke to students after the activities.  

“Everyone listened intently as Tim spoke of his incredible journey to space and how he was able to fulfil his dream of becoming an astronaut,” Gemma added.

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“Tim answered a wide range of interesting and thought-provoking questions from students and was kind enough to have photos taken with everyone.

“Students were in awe of the fact that they were meeting a real-life astronaut and were certainly inspired by Tim’s story.

“It gave them a true-to-life example of a person fulfilling their dreams and never giving up.  

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“This message forms the basis of one of the values at our school and serves to further inspire the aspirations of the students.

“The school is proud to align its aspirational culture and vision with that of inspirational people in the public eye, and the intention is to continue in this vein with more inspiring visitors in the near future.”

After the event, Tim thanked staff and students from every school who attended for a “brilliant visit”.

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