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UK-China Space Science in Schools Programme takes off in Beijing

15 March 2016

UK and China launch innovative teacher training programme using space science to inspire secondary students.

  • National Space Academy

Beijing, 14 March 2016:  A team of the UK’s top space scientists and science teachers will arrive in China this week to launch a new programme using space science in schools to inspire the next generation of innovative thinkers: budding climate scientists, engineers and even astronauts.

The UK’s National Space Academy Director, Anu Ojha, will lead the team to run a set of demonstration masterclasses. They will showcase techniques for using inspirational space science to boost student engagement and achievement and enhance teacher effectiveness in high school science

Chinese and British teachers and students will attend the classes which, for this pilot phase, will be held in the British School of Beijing, Shunyi and Nord Anglia International School Shanghai, Pudong.

The Space Academy already runs masterclasses for seven-thousand students and teacher training for one-thousand teachers across the UK annually. This is the first time the programme will run in China. The programme is part of a wider space education and training relationship between the UK and China. The National Space Academy team will discuss with Chinese partners the potential to develop a wider joint programme of teacher training and student masterclasses that synthesise the very best practice from education and science systems in both China and the UK.

National Space Academy Manager Dr Kierann Shah said:

“We are delighted to be working on this programme of student masterclasses and teacher training sessions in China, and to have received such wonderful hospitality. Space is such an inspirational topic – from understanding our place in the universe, to observing our planet, exploring the solar system, and using satellite technologies to improve our daily lives, it has so much to offer as a platform for learning about science. As in the UK, our dream in China is to spur young people on to studying science and engineering, to make the great discoveries of the future.”

Andy Puttock, Principal at the British School of Beijing, Shunyi added:

“We are very excited indeed to welcome the prestigious National Space Academy to BSB. Our mission is to inspire future generations with a love of learning and, in the current world, perhaps more especially a love of science and technology related subjects. This amazing opportunity will provide outstanding experiences for our students, and a chance to develop a long-term partnership with schools and organisations in China. Our teachers can’t wait to get started.”

Notes for editors

The National Space Academy delegation will be at The British School of Beijing, Shunyi on the 15th and 16th of March, and at the Nord Anglia International School Shanghai, Pudong on the 17th, 18th and 19th of March.

The programme will be launched at a ceremony attended by VIPs from Chaoyang Education Authority and the British Embassy, at The British School of Beijing, Shunyi, at 0900 on Tuesday 15 March.

National Space Academy (www.nationalspaceacademy.org )

The National Space Academy is the largest space education and space skills development programme in the UK.  The programme utilises contexts from astronomy, space science/engineering and Earth Observation Science to boost student attainment and teacher effectiveness in curriculum science, mathematics and engineering at secondary school level and above.

Led by the National Space Centre, funders include the UK Space Agency, STFC, Satellite Applications Catapult, ESA (the European Space Agency), Lloyds Register Foundation, The Ogden Trust and various space and aerospace sector companies.

With core teams at the National Space Centre and Harwell, Oxfordshire, the programme also uses a network of 24 outstanding current secondary teachers (“Lead Educators”) across the UK who work with current space sector scientists and engineers to deliver intensive student masterclasses for 7000 students per year at secondary level, as well as targeted teacher training and continuing professional development courses for 1000 teachers per year.

The British School of Beijing, Shunyi (www.bsbshunyi.com)

The British School of Beijing, Shunyi (BSB Shunyi) is a large International School with Primary and Secondary Schools on one campus. BSB focuses on ‘Creating Great Learning for the Leaders of Tomorrow’, believing there is no limit to what a student can achieve given the correct motivation and support. As an accredited British School Overseas and regularly inspected by UK government agencies, BSB offers the English National Curriculum adapted for an international student body. BSB has been in Beijing since 2003 and is part of the Nord Anglia Education global network of 40+ schools.

UK-China Space Co-operation: Education, Skills and Training

Under a UK-China space co-operation MOU (renewed in 2013 by our respective space agencies), both countries hold an annual workshop on space co-operation. Two years ago, “Education, Skills and Training” was added as one strand of the co-operation discussed in that forum. 


Wang Yicen, British Embassy Press Office

Tel: 0086 10 51924410

Email: wang.yicen@fco.gov.uk