Maps to help around 3,600 UK students build critical STEAM-based skills

SUNDERLAND, England – The Aldrin Family Foundation (AFF) announced a collaboration between the University of Sunderland and its project funders, Sunderland City Council‘s children’s services partner Together for Children and the Reece Foundation, to distribute 20 Giant Moon Maps™ to primary schools across the Tyne and Wear region of northeast England. The large, floor-sized maps will expose around 3,600 UK students to the power of space education and help cultivate critical skills in science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM).

“We’re honored to be working with the University of Sunderland to add to the excitement of space in northeast England classrooms,” said AFF president Dr. Andy Aldrin. “This will be the first collaborative center for space education in the UK that involves a leading educational university, a large number of local primary schools, and the Aldrin Family Foundation. This generation of students are growing up during the most exciting time in the history of space, and we’re thrilled to be part of their development.”

The University of Sunderland and its project funders wanted to prioritize those schools to receive maps with a high percentage of students in receipt of Free School Meals and location in neighborhoods where there has historically been lower progression to higher education. All 20 partner schools have now received their maps and students are starting to discover more about the endless possibilities of space.

  • Maps funded by Together for Children:
  • Academy 360 – Sunderland
  • Albany Village Primary School – Washington
  • Broadway Junior School – Sunderland
  • Dame Dorothy Primary School – Sunderland
  • Easington Lane Primary School – Houghton le Spring
  • East Herrington Primary Academy – Sunderland
  • Grange Park Primary School – Sunderland
  • Hudson Road Primary School – Sunderland
  • Southwick Community Primary School – Sunderland
  • St Benet’s Roman Catholic Primary School – Sunderland
  • Mill Hill Primary School – Sunderland
  • Usworth Colliery Primary School – Washington
  • Shiney Row Primary School – Houghton-le-Spring
  • Maps funded by Reece Foundation:
  • Dunn Street Primary School – Jarrow
  • Jarrow Cross Church of England Primary School – Jarrow
  • Seaview Primary School – Seaham
  • Stanhope Primary School – South Shields
  • Hasting Hill Academy – Sunderland
  • Town End Academy – Sunderland
  • Bexhill Academy – Sunderland

To accompany each map, two University of Sunderland students, Kiera Carr (Master’s in Education) and Cate Jones (PGCE Post- Compulsory Education and Training), wrote 10 Earth and space themed lesson plans that meet UK curriculum standards. AFF staff will also conduct online teacher training with each school to guarantee success integrating the new STEAM resource into the classroom.

“This pioneering initiative, the first of its kind in the UK, perfectly aligns with our commitments in ‘teacher training and education’ and ‘widening access and participation’ efforts at the University of Sunderland,” said Wendy Price OBE, Head of Widening Access and Participation at the University of Sunderland. “We’re dedicated to the long-term success of this project, and excited to offer a unique opportunity to promote active learning and curriculum enrichment to students through the Aldrin Family Foundation’s Giant Moon Map™.”

To learn more about the Aldrin Family Foundation STEAM Education resources, visit the website here.

About the Aldrin Family Foundation
The Aldrin Family Foundation strives to cultivate the next generation of space leaders, entrepreneurs and explorers who will extend human habitation beyond the Earth to the Moon and Mars. The Foundation’s STEAM-based educational tools, educational activities and programs span from a child’s first classroom experience through graduate school and professional programs. This vertical pathway unites explorers at all levels to learn from each other’s vision for space, ultimately creating the first generation of Martians.

About the University of Sunderland
The University of Sunderland is a life-changing institution. It welcomes all with talent into higher education and supports students in reaching their potential through its strategic ambitions to be student-focused, professions-facing and society-shaping. The University has around 27,500 students based at campuses in Sunderland, London and Hong Kong, as well as through global learning partnerships in 15 countries and online learning. The University is proud of its positive contribution to economic and social change. Its graduates leave equipped with the knowledge, skills, confidence and connections to make a positive difference in the wider world.

About the Sunderland City Council’s Together for Children
Together for Children (TfC) was created in April 2017 to deliver Children’s Services on behalf of Sunderland City Council to make a difference for children and families in Sunderland. TfC provides a range of services for children and their families in Sunderland including Education, Early Help, Social Care and SEND local offer. TfC received an Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ judgement for children’s social care services in August 2021.  Alongside Sunderland City Council The Sunderland City Plan sets out how TfC, partners and communities are working together to address challenges in the City so that children, young people and their families can achieve their full potential.

About the Reece Foundation
The Reece Foundation is an independent charity established in 2007 to promote engineering and manufacturing in the Northeast of England, whilst supporting the improvement of education in STEM subjects through grants and funding. It also focuses on issues affecting the countryside and protecting wild places.

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Griffin Communications Group (representing AFF)
Abbigale Martin; [email protected]