The Astronautical Challenge, adventures-in-learning

Posted on June 10th, 2011

We’re delighted that The Astronautical Challenge, the adventure-in-learning that we made in a co-production with our good friends Unlimited Theatre and Radiowaves, helped win a National Charity Award for Unlimited last night, collected by Jon and Liz from Unlimited. You can read Jon about it here (yes, that’s him in the bowtie).

The Astronautical Challenge ran originally as an advance experience to Unlimited’s Mission To Mars. Classes of primary school children in London, Northampton, Leicester and Leeds were recruited by the Unlimited Space Agency to prove they had what it took to be the next generation of astronauts, mentored by older astronaut trainees Gail and Stefan. But Gail and Stefan then run into trouble on a simulation mission in Kazakhstan, and only the class, the Mission Control like Houston in Apollo 13, can help the search plane rescue them. Over the six episodes of the adventure, the class is actually tackling cross-curricular challenges about science and personal social development, facilitated by their teacher, their responses uploaded then to the class station on Radiowaves. It was all about inspiring kids about science through their agency in an inspiring story, how even they can help tackle the hugest challenges in the universe.

It was brilliant making this with Unlimited and Radiowaves, and we’re planning to run The Astronautical Challenge together at scale in the near future. We’re chuffed about our part in this award-winning project, demonstrating the impact of the adventure-in-learning model. A Cat Escapes, the first adventure-in-learning inspired by this book we made in co-production with BAC (that you can see a couple of us talking about here), is also going to be rolling out at scale soon, and we’re developing another adventure-in-learning inspired by this book with the State Library Victoria in Melbourne. More on this front soon.

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