Kids chance to take virtual space trip thanks to NASA and a UCC academic

Kids chance to take virtual space trip thanks to NASA and a UCC academic

Marinara Marcato, founder of SMART Edu Club

FREE virtual space field trips for children aged five to 14 are being offered on Thursday January 28 by a University College Cork (UCC) academic who has partnered with NASA.

Families who sign up will get the opportunity to virtually experience NASA’s Goddard Space Center Field Trips for themselves.

This will be done through two dedicated sessions: Living and Working in Space (for kids aged five to nine years), and How to Build a Satellite (for 10 to 14-year-olds).

The sessions will consist of a series of short videos, a 30-minute live Q&A with scientists and engineers, and extra self-guided activities for the whole family.

Marinara Marcato, an Engineering Science researcher at UCC, is the founder of SMART Edu Club, an Irish e-learning platform.

The initiative is part of SMART Edu Club’s drive to support families during lockdown to keep children entertained, engaged and educated through online workshops and activities, with a particular focus on STEM and Arts subjects.

At a time when families all over the country are faced with the challenge of home-schooling, Marinara advises parents to ‘find ways to make this experience more fun’ for their children.

“Start incorporating learnings into your lifestyle. Look carefully around you – there are learning opportunities everywhere,” she says.

“There is maths in cooking, there is chemistry in baking, there is physics in music, there is biology in your garden; engineering in your house.

“Get your children curious by asking them questions. Brainstorm hypotheses. Discuss your points of view. Investigate mysteries — find the answers to questions you don’t know the answer to.”

For more information on SMART Edu Club, visit

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