18 Apr 2016

University of York to host major space conference for young people

The University of York has been selected to host a major educational conference on space exploration which will involve hundreds of young people showcasing their projects linked to Tim Peake’s Principia mission.

Space conferenceThe UK Space Agency is organising two conferences for school pupils later this year.

The conferences will give students the opportunity to present their work to leading experts from the space industry and education teams from the UK Space Agency and European Space Agency (ESA).

The conferences will be held at the University of Portsmouth on 2 November and at the University of York on 5 November.

The conferences will include keynote talks from leading figures, presentations from the pupils and the opportunity to meet and talk to experts from the space industry and the Principia education programmes.

British ESA astronaut Tim Peake is currently on a six-month mission to the International Space Station.

He made history earlier this year when he became the first astronaut representing the UK to complete a spacewalk.

He is hoping to attend the conferences at York and Portsmouth, subject to operational requirements.

In addition to the conference days, each University will also be hosting an accompanying day of workshops and talks, which attendees can also attend.

The University of York's Dean of Faculty for the Sciences, Professor Brian Fulton, said: "The Department of Physics does a tremendous job at delivering outreach activities to schools and the public, reaching many thousands every year.

“The Department's observatory, Astrocampus, is the hub for astronomy and astrophysics, both at the University of York and for the local area.

“Staff and students provide a hands-on experience of science and enable schoolchildren and the public to share in the wonders of the Universe.

"I am thrilled that Tim Peake will hopefully be joining us and I look forward to an event which will allow many thousands of people to share in the excitement of the UK space programme."

The conferences will be free of charge, with travel bursaries available to help schools with the cost of travelling to the venues.

Any young person of school age, or groups of young people are able to apply to come to the conference and present their work by submitting a summary of their project or work.

A judging panel, made up of representatives from some of the Principia education projects, will select the projects that demonstrate high levels of commitment, dedication and thoughtfulness and the pupils will be invited to attend the conference.

There is no limit on the size of group that submit an application, but if the application is successful a maximum of six children with up to two accompanying adults will be able to attend.

The closing date for applications to be received is Thursday 15 September 2016. Full details of how pupils can apply to attend the conferences can be found here: