Astronomic experience for teacher at The Forest School

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Only a lucky few get to meet an astronaut, let alone train to be one, or experience what it’s like to walk on the moon.

But a Horsham teacher got the chance to do all these things.

Steve Miles, who teaches at The Forest School, competed against maths and science teachers worldwide for a place on a five day astronaut training programme in Alabama run by Honeywell Educators.

Activities included mission simulations and a moon gravity experience.

Steve said: “I was in mission control, I gave instructions and had to do the count down. It felt really realistic.”

He also learned the skills needed for setting up a moon base, as part of the scheme aimed at training participants in innovative teaching techniques.

He said: “We isolated DNA, made rockets and filtered water.

“It was inspiring to have that sense of wonder again, to put yourself back in the shoes of a pupil.”

Asked about the application process, Steve said: “I didn’t think I’d get it, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

Returning to the classroom felt ‘very strange’, but Steve, who has been teaching for 20 years, is eager to tell his pupils about ‘the joys of space travel’.

He hopes to recreate some of the Space Academy workshops with his pupils, and set up an international programme with other teachers.

‘Inspiring’ though the week was, Steve currently has no future plans for space travel.

He said: “I would love to, but I think I would be pushing my luck.”