Astronaut talks to summer school

Gifted pupils are to learn from an astronaut and NASA experts at a summer school hosted by the university.

Students from across the UK will study the origins of life on Earth and whether life might exist on other worlds at the Astrobiology Summer Academy.

The event in Edinburgh will give 20 pupils aged 16-18 the chance to work with researchers and learn about key scientific challenges.

Guest speakers

Those taking part will hear from European Space Agency astronaut Major Tim Peake, who will discuss how he trained for his International Space Station mission.

They will also hear from two PhD students at NASA about life in some of the most extreme environments on Earth and in other worlds.

Students will learn about various aspects of astrobiology - which focuses on the origins and the limits of life.

Topics will include how planets form, and how life survives at extreme conditions.

Exploring other worlds

Pupils will also gain insight into whether life exists on other planets, and the likelihood of human bases being established on other planets and moons.

Students will end their week-long academy by giving a public presentation at Our Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh on Friday.

The summer school, held at the University, is run by researchers at the UK Centre for Astrobiology.

It will seek to give students opportunities for personal development, including team-working, critical thinking and collaboration.

We hope our summer students will enjoy hearing first-hand about some of the challenges – and the wonders – of space science.

Professor Charles CockellHead of the UK Centre for Astrobiology