In September 2018, Hand Of partnered with Woodhorn Museum, Kielder Observatory, the University of Newcastle’s Dr. Chris Hales, and acclaimed composer Andy Ingamells, to explore time, space, and the history of Northumberland from the Big Bang to the present day.
An intrepid young group of Year 6 Space Cadets from five primary school campuses in Ashington bravely travelled from the Sun to the edge of the Solar System and back, by narrow-gauge railway. They journeyed as far back in time as the eye can see, through the Universe to the Big Bang. They learnt about different coloured stars, different constellations from around the world, and that it rains diamonds on Neptune.
As well as by train throughout the solar system, the group travelled by coach to Newcastle University, where they used science to identify meteorites, and to Kielder Observatory, where they were able to use some of the most powerful telescopes in the UK.
On day 7, the cadets graduated the Northumberland Space Programme – officially becoming Commanders – with a 30 minute performance for family, friends, peers, and teachers. The performance shared their findings through music and actions, and featured pit-pony constellations, black holes, craters, meteorites, neutron stars and Laika the space-dog.