Mr T Does History Logo

One small step for man…

On July 24th, 1969, Apollo 11 landed on the surface of the Moon. Neil Armstrong uttered those immortal words and the world was changed forever! 50 years later, it’s important to commemorate this achievement in school and look at how far our understanding of space has developed and what science, maths and engineering has helped us achieve.

Neil Armstrong being rescued after landing back on Earth

What Could we do to Mark the Anniversary?

An anniversary assembly looking at the space race between the USA and USSR (Soviet Russia) would be an easy to manage way of teaching children about it.

A day focused on it would cover many aspect of the curriculum with a real and effective context.

Involving the Whole School:

Each year group can easily take on an aspect of the event and share them at the end of the day or, alternatively, teach about the story in an age appropriate way.

It fits into both the Key Stage 1 and 2 curriculum in various subjects and, with a bit of creativity, could easily produce some really excellent pieces of work. My initial thoughts include: a collaborative collage of the moon’s surface with the Apollo 11 Eagle stood on the surface, a dramatic exploration of how the people of mission control would feel when all they received from Apollo was radio transmissions using computer equipment less sophisticated than is found in a mobile phone, and analysing the roles that contributed to the mission’s success or listening to the incredible video, photographic and audio sources we have available to use… I could easily go on!

OK… one more, Saturn V is the most complex machine ever built – 3,000,000 plus pieces – definitely worthy of study! Think of the engineering and maths involved in its creation. Where could STEM take us? In this case, to the moon and back!

Saturn V rocket exhaust

Websites to Consider Using: – an extract of President Kennedy’s speech – the countdown to launch including mission control commentary – child friendly overview of the Apollo programme – interactive book to explore