Son of second man on the moon, Buzz Aldrin, looks to inspire new generation of Sunderland children

The son of the second person to set foot on the moon, Buzz Aldrin, has taken part in a space workshop with children from East Boldon to inspire their interest in science.

Tuesday, 9th November 2021, 12:50 pm

Dr Andrew Aldrin teamed up with the University of Sunderland to launch the Giant Mars and Moon Maps project.

The project will see the University’s trainee teachers use giant interactive floor maps to bring the boundless possibilities of space exploration to life for pupils across the North East.

The launch session involved Year 5 pupils from East Boldon Junior School and a key feature was how, for this current generation, the connection with space will become more tangible.

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Dr Aldrin said: “Today is a really interesting time in space and I think it’s actually more exciting than when my father went into space.

“The reason is, up until this point, space has been something that we all observe. A few people get to participate like astronauts, but in the next decade, so many more people are going to get to participate.

“Every one of these students is going to have an opportunity to build a space craft, fly into space, apply for real jobs on the moon or be an electrician repairing robots. So space is becoming participatory rather than just observational, and that’s an incredible transition.”

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Dr Andrew Aldrin speaking with children during the event at the University of Sunderland. Picture: DAVID WOOD

During the event, trainee teachers and pupils also got the chance to hear from Aldrin Family Foundation Director Jim Christensen, former Director of Education at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.

Trainee teacher Nicola McCoy said: “Andrew is so knowledgeable. It’s been really interesting working with him and the other staff at the Aldrin Family Foundation, particularly Jim, who is also a fountain of information.

“It’s helping me as a trainee teacher because it gives me the opportunity to work with children in an environment I haven’t experienced before.”

Dr Andrew Aldrin with trainee teacher Nicola McCoy. Picture: DAVID WOOD

The event was the culmination of a year’s worth of work between the trainee teachers and the Aldrin Family Foundation to develop resources for primary school children to use.

Susan Edgar, Head of the School of Education, said: “Our aim is to embed the Giant Mars and Moon Maps project into our Initial Teacher Training programme content to enable our trainees to utilise this unique resource to the benefit of our partnership schools.”

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Children from East Boldon Junior School taking part in the Giant Mars and Moon Maps project. Picture: DAVID WOOD

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