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Top 10 – STEM Christmas Gift Book List 2018

With Christmas fast approaching, you are probably looking for perfect gifts for your family and friends etc – here is our ‘Top 10 – STEM Christmas Gift Book List 2018’.

In no particular order –

1 . Falling to Earth: An Apollo 15 Astronaut’s Journey to Earth – By Al Worden and Francis French

As command module pilot for the Apollo 15 mission to the moon in 1971, Al Worden flew on what is widely regarded as the greatest exploration mission that humans have ever attempted  He spent six days orbiting the moon, including three days completely alone, the most isolated human in existence.  During the return from the moon to earth he also conducted the first spacewalk in deep space, becoming the first human ever to see both the entire earth and moon simply by turning his head. The Apollo 15 flight capped an already impressive career as an astronaut, including important work on the pioneering Apollo 9 and Apollo 12 missions, as well as the perilous flight of Apollo 13.

Al is a lovely person with a wonderful sense of humour – this book is an inspirational read for all!

 

2.  Built: The Hidden Stories Behind our Structures – By Roma Agrawal


In BUILT, structural engineer Roma Agrawal takes a unique look at how construction has evolved from the mud huts of our ancestors to skyscrapers of steel that reach hundreds of metres into the sky.  She unearths how engineers have tunnelled through kilometres of solid mountains – how they’ve bridged across the widest and deepest of rivers, and tamed Nature’s precious and elusive water resources.  She tells vivid tales of the visionaries who created the groundbreaking materials in the Pantheon’s record holding concrete dome and the frame of the record-breaking Eiffel Tower.  Through the lens of an engineer, Roma examines tragedies like the collapse of the Quebec Bridge, highlighting the precarious task of ensuring people’s safety they hold at every step.

Roma’s passion for engineering is most certainly clear in BUILT!

 

3.  Ad Astra: An Illustrated Guide to Leaving the Planet – By Dallas Campbell

Whether you’ve got itchy feet and need a bit of a break, or you’re looking for a complete change of scene – this book has all the information you’ll need to leave, with FREE expert advice from the men and woman who can actually make it happen!
It covers the wonders that we can all feel about science, and more specifically space exploration, even if you’re not a professional scientist.
It’s fascinating, witty and imaginative!

If you’ve ever looked up into the skies or dreamed about leaving the planet – this book is definitely for you!

Dallas has a fantastic presenting style and his passion for STEM makes this book a compelling must-read!

 

4.  A Galaxy of Her Own: Amazing Stories of Women in Space – By Libby Jackson
From small steps to giant leaps, A Galaxy of Her Own tells fifty stories of inspirational women who have been fundamental to the story of humans in space, from scientists to astronauts to some surprising roles in between.
Packed full of both amazing female role models and mind-blowing secrets of space travel, A Galaxy of Her Own is guaranteed to make any reader reach for the stars!

Written by Libby Jackson, a leading UK expert in human space flight – this is a book to delight and inspire people of all ages.

Libby is an inspirational speaker and author – a truly lovely person to know!

 

5.  Endurance: A Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery – By Scott Kelly

A stunning, personal memoir from the NASA astronaut and modern-day hero who spent a record-breaking year aboard the International Space Station – a book that will inspire generations to come.

Scott gives a personal account of his year in space, from his training, to adjusting back to life on Earth!
A deeply absorbing and vivid look at a year in space, showing the importance of long duration space missions – that will help us explore further into the cosmos!
A truly inspirational book by an incredible, delightful and witty astronaut!

 

 

6.  Wally Funk’s Race for Space: The Extraordinary Story of a Female Aviation Pioneer – By Sue Nelson

In 1961, Wally Funk was among the Mercury 13, the first group of American pilots to pass the Woman in Space programme.  Wally sailed through a series of rigorous physical and mental tests, with one of her scores beating all the male Mercury 7 astronauts,  including John Glenn,  the first American in orbit.

But just one week before the final phase of training, the programme was abruptly cancelled.  A combination of politics and prejudice meant that none of the women ever flew into space.  Undeterred, Wally went on to become America’s first female aviation safety inspector, though her dream of being an astronaut never dimmed.

Sue is determined to inspire more girls to develop a love for space – Wally’s story is an inspiration for all!

 

7.  The Astronaut Selection Test Book: Do You Have What it Takes for Space? – By Tim Peake


Have YOU got what it takes to be an astronaut?

This book will help readers of all ages find out.  Featuring 100 real astronaut tests and exercises from the European Space Agency’s rigorous selection process, ranging from easy to fiendishly hard, The Astronaut Selection Test Book goes where no puzzle book has gone before.

Including puzzles and tests on:
· visual perception and logic
· mental arithmetic and concentration
· psychological readiness
· teamwork and leadership
· survival, physical and medical skills
· foreign languages (every astronaut has to know Russian!)
and much more.

This richly illustrated book draws on Tim Peake’s first-hand experience of applying to be an astronaut in 2008, when he and five others were chosen – out of over 8,000 applications!

Tim’s book is a fascinating read!

 

8.  Aliens: Science Asks: Is There Anyone Out There?: Science from the Other Side – Professor Jim Al-Khalili


Do Aliens Exist?

 

And if they do – what would they look like? Where would they live? Would they be conscious beings?  And what would happen if they found us?

 

These are the biggest questions we’ve ever asked – and here, Professor Jim Al-Khalili, theoretical physicist and host of BBC Radio Four’s The Life Scientific, blasts off in search of answers.  Coming with him are Martin Rees, Ian Stewart, Louisa Preston, Monica Grady, Sara Seager, Paul Davies and a crack team of scientists and experts who’ve made it their life’s work to discover the truth.

So get ready to visit the ice boulders and hydrocarbon lakes of Saturn’s moon Titan, meet the tiny eight-legged critters that could survive in space and learn about the neuroscience behind belief in alien abductions.

Lively, curious and filled with scientific insights fresh from the cutting edge of the Galaxy.

 

9.  Hello World: How to be Human in the Age of the Machine – By Hannah Fry


You are accused of a crime. Who would you rather determined your fate – a human or an algorithm?
An algorithm is more consistent and less prone to error of judgement – yet a human can look you in the eye before passing sentence.

Welcome to the age of the algorithm, the story of a not too distant future where machines rule supreme, making important decisions in healthcare, transport, finance, security, what we watch, where we go even who we send to prison.  So how much should we rely on them?  What kind of future do we want?

Hannah Fry takes us on a tour of the good, the bad and the downright ugly of the algorithms that surround us.  In Hello World she lifts the lid on their inner workings, demonstrates their power, exposes their limitations, and examines whether they really are an improvement on the humans they are replacing.

This book is fantastic – you must read it!

 

10.  Quantum: A Guide For The Perplexed – By Jim Al-Khalili

From Schrodinger’s cat to Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, this book untangles the weirdness of the quantum world.

Quantum mechanics underpins modern science and provides us with a blueprint for reality itself and yet it has been said that if you’re not shocked by it, you don’t understand it.  But is quantum physics really so unknowable?  Is reality really so strange?

Our journey into the quantum begins with nature’s own conjuring trick, in which we discover that atoms – contrary to the rules of everyday experience – can exist in two locations at once.  To understand this we travel back to the dawn of the twentieth century and witness the birth of quantum theory, which over the next one hundred years was to overthrow so many of our deeply held notions about the nature of our universe.  Scientists and philosophers have been left grappling with its implications every since.

We recommend this book to anyone who is seeking an introduction to quantum mechanics!

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MajorTim.space’s ‘Galactic Outreach Workshops’ at Techniquest Glyndwr’s Christmas Market – 1st December 2018!

We had a fantastic time running our drop-in ‘Be Mystified – The Forces of Science!’ workshops at Techniquest Glyndwr’s Christmas Market – 1st December 2018.

We were running two different drop-in activities and some friction challenges:
Be Mystified – The Forces of Science!

Visitors made Hoop Gliders with a shooting star twist and Thaumatropes, while learning the science behind them!
Plus, we had some friction challenges that got them thinking!

We took our new MajorTim.space Galactic Photo Prop which was very popular with the visitors!
More photos of visitors with the photo accessory at the end of the article.

Also, we provided a new photo editing experience – space selfies!

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Congratulations to brothers Jonah & Dylan who were the lucky winners of our raffle – the prize was a signed photo of Helen Sharman (below)!

Jonah (left) and Dylan (right) were thrilled with their prize!

All of the visitors to our stand had a STEMtastic time!

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Touchdown for NASA’s InSight Mission!

26th November 2018 – Mars received its newest robotic resident.  NASA’s Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) lander successfully touched down on the Red Planet after an almost seven-month, 300-million-mile (485-million-kilometre) journey from Earth.

The NASA InSight spacecraft launched on-board a United Launch Alliance Atlas-V rocket, from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California – Saturday, 5th May 2018.

InSight’s two-year mission will be to study the deep interior of Mars to learn how all celestial bodies with rocky surfaces, including Earth and the Moon, formed.

The landing signal was relayed to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, via NASA’s two small experimental Mars Cube One (MarCO) CubeSats, which launched on the same rocket as InSight and followed the lander to Mars.  They are the first CubeSats sent into deep space.  After successfully carrying out a number of communications and in-flight navigation experiments, the twin MarCOs were set in position to receive transmissions during InSight’s entry, descent and landing.

Photo source – NASA

With InSight safely on the surface of Mars, the mission team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, is busy learning more about the spacecraft’s landing site.  They knew when InSight landed that the spacecraft had touched down on target, a lava plain named Elysium Planitia.  Now they have determined that the vehicle sits slightly tilted (about 4 degrees) in a shallow dust and sand-filled impact crater known as a “hollow”.  InSight has been engineered to operate on a surface with an inclination up to 15 degrees.

 

NASA Insight’s First Photo on Mars –

We look forward to NASA Insight’s future discoveries!

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MajorTim.space’s ‘Galactic Outreach Workshops’ at the Launch event for the Snowdonia Solar System Trail – 29th November 2018!

We had a great time running our Mars Mission egg drop workshop at Snowdonia Solar System Trail for adults and children – 29th November 2018!

We held a competition to test which participants expensive technical equipment (an egg) would survive the long drop from the probe to the surface of Mars.

We challenged the participants to design and make a protective lander for the equipment so that it landed safely on Mars.

They designed and built Mars landers from a range of materials.
The landers were then be put to the test to see which would survive the impact.

They had to minimize the force of the impact in order to give their eggs the best chance of survival!

They learnt about acceleration, velocity,  gravity and much more!

 

The participants were split in two groups – so we held two sessions with competitions.

The two winning landers in group 1 were built by…….

Jacek with his fantastic lander and Team ‘Jo Mission Mars’ – Olimpia and Jan!

From left to right: Olimpia, Jan and Jacek receiving their prizes.

 

The two winning landers in group 2 were built by…….

Carys and Eleth!

Carys and Eleth receiving their prizes.

 

Congratulations to Jan, who was the lucky winner of our raffle – the prize was a signed photo of Helen Sharman (below).

Jan was thrilled with his prize!

All of the event participants had a
STEMtastic time!

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MajorTim.space’s ‘Galactic Outreach Workshops’ at Techniquest Glyndwr’s Christmas Market – 1st December 2018!

We will be running our drop-in ‘Be Mystified – The Forces of Science!’ workshops at Techniquest Glyndwr’s Christmas Market – 1st December 2018.

We will be running two different drop-in activities, a raffle with a unique prize and some friction challenges:

Be Mystified – The Forces of Science!

Make a Hoop Glider with a shooting star twist and a Thaumatrope – while learning the science behind them – both of which you can take away with you!

Plus, we will be bringing our new MajorTim.space Galactic Photo Prop.

We will also be providing our new photo editing experience – space selfies!

So come and find us to have some STEM fun!

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MajorTim.space’s ‘Galactic Outreach Workshops’ at the Launch event for the Snowdonia Solar System Trail!

We will be running our Mars Mission egg drop workshop at Snowdonia Solar System Trail – 29th November 2018!

We will be holding a competition to test which participants expensive technical equipment (an egg) will survive the long drop from the probe to the surface of Mars.

We will challenge the participants to design and make a protective lander for the equipment so that it lands safely on Mars.

They will design and build a Mars lander from a range of materials.
The landers will then be put to the test to see which survive the impact.

We will also be holding a raffle with a very unique prize.

The event will be held at Oakeley Arms Hotel, Blaenau Ffestiniog.

Book your tickets and find out more here –
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/lansiad-llwybr-cysawd-eryri-a-seryddiaeth-snowdonia-solar-system-trail-launch-and-stargazing-tickets-52659964371

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MajorTim.space’s ‘Galactic Outreach Workshops’ at World Museum Liverpool’s Stargazing Night – 9th November 2018!

In a unique collaboration with the World Museum Liverpool we were running our drop-in hoop glider workshop with a shooting star twist and a Galactic Quiz with prizes at their spectacular stargazing event – 9th November 2018.

Visitors to our stand made Hoop Gliders – while learning the science behind them – which they could take away with them!
Plus, we had our Galactic Quiz and some friction challenges that got visitors thinking!

We took our new MajorTim.space Galactic Photo Prop which was very popular with the visitors!
More photos of visitors with the photo accessory at the end of the article.

Also, for the first time we provided a new photo editing experience – space selfies!

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All of the visitors to our stand had a STEMtastic time!

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MajorTim.space’s ‘Galactic Outreach Workshops’ at World Museum Liverpool’s Stargazing Night – 9th November 2018!

In a unique collaboration with the World Museum Liverpool we are proud to be running our drop-in hoop glider workshop with a shooting star twist and a Galactic Quiz with prizes at this spectacular stargazing event.

Make a Hoop Glider – while learning the science behind it – which you can take away with you!

The event will run – 5.30pm to 9.00pm.

Find out more here – http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/wml/events/displayevent.aspx?EventId=38165

 

So come and find us to have some STEM fun!

 

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Llandudno Celebrates World Space Week with MajorTim.space!

28th October 2018 – MajorTim.space held their sold out all day ‘Space is the Place’! – Celebrate World Space Week!’ workshop in Llandudno, North Wales for young people.

The day consisted of inspiring STEM/space experiments/activities.

The children had the opportunity to see and examine meteorites including a piece of Mars!

In the afternoon the children had the chance to speak to Dr Jackie Bell (a contestant on the BBC’s ‘Astronauts: Do You Have What it Takes?’ programme) during a live link up.

Jackie gave a fascinating talk with time for q&a, where the participants got to ask their burning space questions.

It was a fun-filled educational day that launched the children into the wonders of our universe.

 

Catrin Moore (age 8) said “I have really enjoyed the day and I want to come again!”

 

Amelia Stars (Founder, CEO and manager of MajorTim.space) said “All 12 participants had a fantastic time and the feedback has been tremendous, they had such great questions for Dr Jackie Bell and it was great to see them making new friends. A highlight for me was that most of the children who attended now want to be scientists, engineers and astronauts. It is extremely important that we help young people to discover the wide range of careers available in the STEM fields – help them to open the doors to their futures!”

Here is our official event video –

 

During the event we held two competitions –

1.  Mars Mission Egg Drop – we tested which participants expensive technical equipment (an egg) would survive the long drop from the probe to the surface of Mars – the winner was………..  Luke!

Luke’s winning lander

2.  Balloon Cars – we timed every balloon car on our ramp to the finish line and recorded all the times – the fastest balloon car with a time of 1.72 seconds was built by………..  Osian!
The two runner-ups were – Alfie (time – 1.94 seconds) and Luke (time – 2.42 seconds).

Osian with his winning car

 

World Space Week is an annual international celebration of all things SPACE, which focuses on science and technology and its role in the past, present and the future of mankind.

 

The event was a great success and all the children left the workshop inspired!

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Thanks to Dr Jackie Bell for the fantastic live link up.
Also, to the Llandudno Lions Club for supporting the event and Dallas Campbell for one of the videos that the children viewed.

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MajorTim.space’s ‘Galactic Outreach Workshops’ with 1st Abergele Cubs – Balloon Cars!

We had a great time with 1st Abergele Cubs – 18.10.2018 – running our Balloon cars workshop!

The Cubs were challenged to design and build their own balloon cars!

During the session we ran the fastest balloon car competition!
We timed every balloon car on our ramp to the finish line and recorded all the times!

It was wonderful to see the Scouts being competitive – but helping each other at the same time!

Even though it was a competition, all the Scouts helped each other while building their cars!

The winner was……..

Daniel (below)

Presenting Daniel with his prize

Daniel’s car (The Danmobile) had a fantastic time of 2.28 seconds!

Here is Daniel racing his winning car –

 

The runner-ups of the competition were…   William – with his car ‘Geoff’ (time – 2.35 seconds) and Noah – with his car ‘The Noahmobile’ (time – 2.38 seconds) (below).

Presenting William and Noah with their prizes

Well done to all of the Cubs – you all built amazing cars!

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