The Outreach Programme at UK Space Conference 2023 will welcome around 450 P5 & P6 from the local Belfast area to join us across the three-day conference. 

The pupils aged 9-11 will experience a full programme of interactive, educational and hands on activities that aim to excite and explore opportunities in STEM.

The morning allows our range of activity providers to share an insight into what it’s like to work in STEM and how our everyday lives are so closely linked to space! The children have the opportunity to get stuck in, making rockets, and safely landing alien spacecrafts. They also have a chance to be part of their favourite Sci-Fi film.

The afternoon showcase allows the outreach groups to visit one of the conference session rooms to see an act that will be a show stopping finish to their day.

To read more about our activity providers, please see below.

BAE Systems Digital Intelligence and In-Space Missions

For the last 25+ years, BAE Systems has been at the forefront of space innovation, with specialist technologies in waveforms, electronics, antennas, digital signal processing and analytics. Today, we’re investing in space to deliver a step-change in capabilities for our customers by taking new-space methods and combining them with our security and resilience expertise. Our acquisition of In-Space Missions has given us access to world-class experts in designing, building and operating physical and digital space missions for global customers. Together, BAE Systems and In-Space missions are hosting an interactive session to teach pupils about the essential role satellites play in our daily lives. They do much more than just let us watch TV or send pictures of the Earth from space, but can the pupils pick out the truth from the lies? The pupils will then be tasked to build a shock-absorbing space lander to protect the aliens during impact when they touch down on Earth. 

Armagh Observatory and Planetarium

Armagh Observatory and Planetarium is one of the oldest astronomical institutions in the British Isles. Opened in 1968, its planetarium celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2018. Today, they feature a state-of-the art digital projector system providing an immersive experience under the 12-metre diameter planetarium dome. The team will guide an activity making rockets from paper, card, and tape, and then test the engineering skills by launching them into the air. 

National Centre from Earth Observation

NCEO is a research centre funded by the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) with more than 100 scientists distributed across leading UK universities and research organisations. The All Eyes on Earth presentation at UKSC 2023 will give students the opportunity to find out more about how space is used to monitor and care for our home. We will challenge them to interpret fascinating images produced using data collected by EO satellites passing over Northern Ireland and watching recent extreme weather events.

National Space Academy

Sophie Allan, Head of Teaching and Learning, will deliver “Working at the frontiers of space”, looking at the exciting cutting-edge research and engineering taking place in space, and the people who make this possible. Where could YOU fit in?

David Wilkinson, NSA General Manager, will explore the challenges and technical solutions to human space flight. Through demonstrations and hands-on activities, students will come to understand the difficulties of life in vacuum and zero gravity, and the often simple ways that we can safely send humans into space.

The National Space Academy is the largest secondary and FE level space education and space skills development programme in the UK. The organisation utilises contexts from astronomy, space science/engineering and earth observation science to boost student attainment and teacher effectiveness in curriculum science, mathematics and engineering.

Nerve Centre

More than 120,000 people a year benefit from Nerve Centre’s wide-ranging programme of arts events, cutting-edge projects, community relations activities, creative learning centres, training opportunities, and state-of-the-art production facilities.

The Nerve Centre's Creative Learning Centres, based in Derry~Londonderry and Belfast, provide a variety of workshops for primary and post-primary schools, teacher professional development, Moving Image Arts support and community programmes, with a focus on 'hard to reach' groups.


Sentinus is a not for profit educational charity which works with schools and colleges throughout Northern Ireland to deliver programmes which promote engagement in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

The European Space Agency is planning to send a mission to Mars next year and wants you to design and build a buggy which can move around on the surface of the red planet.  Working in your team, you will build and test your model using K’Nex. 

At the end of the workshop, each participant will be given a telescope which you can build at home and use to view distant objects.

UK Space Agency

The UK Space Agency inspires and leads the UK in space, to benefit our planet and its people. Our Space to Learn project targets the critical interface with young people in the formal education setting: in the classroom, and surrounding enrichment activities that are delivered through schools and teachers. The project brings the context of space and space careers to both teachers and pupils/students, critically linking to the curriculum, targeting nationally, targeting diversity, and targeting underserved regions. 

The Outreach Programme is sponsored by BAE Systems Digital Intelligence and In-Space Missions