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Mad Science Parental Class Summary

This page is exclusively for the use of parents whose children have attended (or are about to attend) a Mad Sceince course.

Parents have told us that whilst their children always enjoy the clubs we run, they would like to know in greater detail what we actually cover in the sessions; so that they can support what we do at home. We all know that sometimes the response from children to the question 'what did you do today?' can be less than enlightening!

This page is for parents who want to extend the 'discussion' with their children about the key science concepts we cover in the afterschool clubs.

It can be used in conjunction with the 'Do try this at home' section in the Parent Zone of the Afterschool pages of the Mad Science website, click here to go to PARENT ZONE. All you need to do is find the topic your child covered in the class and find the associated infomation in the list below.

If you have any questions about anything please let us know, either or 01159221113.

We do hope that you enjoy you experience.



  •  Our solar system has planets, moons, dwarf planets, asteroids and comets.
  • There are eight planets in our solar system.
  • The rocky planets are smaller than the gas planets.
  • A lunar eclipse happens when the Earth casts its shadow on the Moon.
  • A solar eclipse happens when the Moon casts its shadow on the Earth.
  • We can use gravity to move probes around in space.


  • Rockets boost payloads into space, including equipment and people.
  • The four forces that affect flight are lift, gravity, thrust, and drag.
  • Thrust and lift are positive forces that move a rocket forward.
  • Gravity and drag are negative forces that slow a rocket down.
  • A model rocket can be launched with the help of an adult.



  • The main parts of a rocket are the nose cone, rocket body, fins, engine, and parachute.
  • Nose cones cut through the air so that the rocket flies faster.
  • The rocket body carries the astronaut and cargo into space.
  • The fins stabilize the rocket's flight.
  • The engines thrust a rocket into the sky.
  • The parachute creates drag to slow down the falling rocket so that it lands safely.


  • Air is all around us.
  • The Earth's atmosphere has five layers and supports life.
  • Each planet's atmosphere has a different mix of gases.
  • We see rainbows when the sun shines through water drops.
  • Tiny particles in the air scatter sunlight and make the sky look red during a sunset.
  • The Earth's atmosphere bends starlight; this makes stars appear to twinkle.
  • The sun and our atmosphere interact to create the weather on Earth.




  • Galaxies are clouds of billions and billions of stars.
  • Our galaxy is called the Milky Way.
  • Our star is called the Sun.
  • Stars go through different life stages over the course of billions of years.
  • A supernova happens when a star explodes, and can leave a black hole.
  • Constellations are groups of stars that humans recognize as shapes. 


  • Life as an astronaut is both challenging and rewarding.
  • Humans need air pressure around them to live.
  • There is no air pressure in space, so astronauts use space suits and spacecrafts to survive.
  • Living in space without gravity changes an astronaut's body.
  • Astronauts must train for many hours and work as a team to perform space tasks.
  • Sunlight shining on objects in space warms them up.



  • Asteroids leave craters when they land on a planet or moon.
  • Meteors burn up as they pass through our Earth's atmosphere. Meteorites are the rocks that make it onto the ground from space.
  • Comets are frozen water, gas, dirt and dust.
  • We may see space objects in the sky. These are space phenomena.
  • Some of the space objects we see shine from light reflected by the sun.
  • The lenses and mirrors in telescopes help us see faint objects that are far away.



  • Laser light is a beam of concentrated light that travels in a single, straight line.
  • We cannot see the laser's beam unless we put something in its way.
  • Radar bounces radio waves against an object to calculate how far away it is.
  • Space technologies with two camera eyes have depth perception.
  • Space spinoffs are the space technologies that we modified to use on Earth.  VELCRO is a space spinoff.

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