Space experts to hold games ‘hackday’ for schoolchildren

Posted by ap507 at Mar 16, 2017 10:48 AM |
University of Leicester scientists are asking schoolchildren aged 14-19 to join them for a workshop / ‘hackday’ and design games based on images of the Earth taken from space on Saturday 25 March

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 16 March 2017

Photo / media opportunity: Media are invited to take photographs and film the event between 11:00am – 12 noon on Saturday 25 March. To arrange contact Dr Rosie Leigh on

Scientists from the University of Leicester are hosting a games ‘hackday’ in order to engage schoolchildren with pioneering space research on Saturday 25 March.

The day is organised by the National Centre for Earth Observation, based in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Leicester, and hopes to inspire young people into considering space research as a career.

When British Astronaut and University of Leicester Honorand Tim Peake was in space he took a number of pictures of Earth, sharing them via Twitter and the UK and European Space Agencies.

As part of the University of Leicester event, schoolchildren will be given images of the Earth taken from the International Space Station or satellites - and then will be challenged to design games using them.

The form the game takes is down to them - these could be games, card games, apps or computer games.

The University will also be providing access to Python, MATLAB, IDL, Dreamweaver for web-based games, and GIS programs (including Google Earth) if the schoolchildren wish to make maps part of their game.

There will be people on hand who can help the schoolchildren develop their ideas, but they have only one day to create a prototype, so it is advised that they arrive with an idea and some thoughts about how they might make it work.

Dr Rosie Leigh, from the National Centre for Earth Observation at the University of Leicester, said: “We hope that this event will provide young people with an opportunity to learn more about Earth observation science in a fun and accessible way. Many of the images taken by Tim during his mission on the International Space Station are both beautiful and fascinating and we can’t wait to see what games the attendees come up with that use them.”

Attendance is free but numbers will be limited. Those who are interested can apply via the website:

The workshop / ‘hackday’ at the University of Leicester takes place between 10:00am to 4:00pm on Saturday 25 March.


Notes to editors:

For more information contact Dr Rosie Leigh on

More information can also be found on the event page

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