Holbrook Primary School pupils get message from astronaut Tim Peake after Asthma UK article
PUBLISHED: 17:25 05 May 2016 | UPDATED: 17:57 05 May 2016
It isn't every day your school gets a message from space.
But children from Holbrook Primary were being woken up early today after work for their science lessons attracted the attention of British astronaut Tim Peake.
Like many schools across Suffolk and the country pupils at Holbrook have been tying Major Peake’s stay on the International Space Station into their normal classes.
Now the 44-year-old spaceman has praised the school’s pupils for the work they have done after being inspired by him.
Richard Williams, the school’s computing coordinator, said it was the chance to get a grant from the European Space Agency which began a chain of events ending with a message to the school from Major Peake.
“We had an idea for a project because we have had our 3D printer now for more than a year-and-a-half,” he explained. “We heard about some grants from the European Space Agency linked to Tim Peake’s mission to the International Space Station.
“We decided we were going to do it whether we got the grant or not. Every class has linked in 3D printing to their lessons.”
Mr Williams’ Year 5 class has been working on ideas to improve asthma inhalers for children by printing colourful and friendly ‘toppers’ to sit on top of the inhaler’s canister.
It links into their biology lessons and the work Major Peake has been doing on respiratory systems, testing his lung capacity on earth and in space.
This attracted the attention of charity Asthma UK which visited the school and published an article about it on their website.
When this reached Major Peake on the ISS he retweeted the article and mentioned the school in a Facebook message.
“Loved hearing about the incredible work Holbrook Primary School are doing with their 3D printing project via Asthma UK,” he wrote. “Their work has been inspired by our respiratory research on the International Space Station.
“I hope they never stop being inquisitive and learning – then maybe one day one of the pupils may end up here in the International Space Station!”
Mr Williams said the children were thrilled at learning of the message and added: “I think the adults are equally as excited.
“I heard lots of children were woken up early by their parents so they could be shown the message.
“Our children have felt a part of that (Tim Peake’s research) by being involved in some of that work.
“They are so excited and interested to know about Tim Peake.”
Two of the children featured in the original article on Asthma UK’s website were Tristan Mann and Jack Bartum who worked together to create their rocket-shaped inhaler topper.
“Thy designed it together,” Mr Williams said. “They both originally wanted the whole inhaler to look like a rocket but they did the measurements and it was too difficult so they did the topper.
“Both boys are quite quiet and calm but the design and the work they have done is great.”
Every child in the school has used the 3D printer to make something connected with their space-inspired work, from plant pots housing rocket seeds grown in space to a model of the ISS.
Holbrook’s schoolchildren aren’t the only people to be inspired by Major Peake – the EADT and Ipswich Star’s sculpture in the Pigs Gone Wild art trail, which hits the town this summer, is named Major Tim Pig after the astronaut