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#TVforTeachers – The Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

As part of ERA’s commitment to helping licence holders make best use of the material available to them, we have decided to start highlighting our ‘top pick’ each week. We’re hoping to reveal multiple educational uses for a single episode, series, or film with enough time to act as a ‘heads up’ for teachers to be able to record, or access the material.

This year’s Royal Institution Christmas Lectures (28th – 30th December, 8pm, BBC4) revolve around the theme ‘How to Survive Space’, presented by Dr Kevin Fong – the lectures will offer ‘a window onto today’s most exciting space missions, explores the future of space travel, and offers a unique insight into the challenges of protecting human life in the hostile environment of space in the 2015’. The lectures will feature an extra special guest: British astronauts and International Space Station resident, Tim Peake.


28th December: Lift Off!

The first lecture answers a number of questions surrounding the practicalities of a rocket launch. From the BBC:

How do you control the energy of 300 tonnes of liquid fuel? What happens to your body if you don’t wear a spacesuit? And how do you catch up with a space station travelling at 17,500 mph to finally get inside?

29th December: Life in Orbit

This session looks at the challenges brought up by living in space. From the BBC:

In the second lecture, Kevin explores life in orbit on board the International Space Station. As Tim settles in to his new home he sends special reports about what it takes to live and work in space.

Four hundred kilometres above the Earth, hurtling at a speed of 17,500mph, astronauts’ bones and muscles waste away, the oxygen they breathe is artificially made, and they face constant threats from micrometeorites, radiation and extreme temperatures. If a medical emergency strikes, Tim is a very long way from home.

30th December: The Next Frontier

From the BBC:

In the third and final lecture, Kevin explores the next frontier of human space travel. Live from the Station hurtling at 17,500mph, 400 km above the Earth, Tim answers questions directly from the children in the lecture theatre audience. With Tim’s help out in Earth’s orbit, Kevin investigates how the next generation of astronauts will be propelled across the vast chasm of space to Mars and beyond.


Follow the hashtag #TVforTeachers or @EraResources for more lesson ideas.