Ten County Durham schools were set the challenging task of pitching out-of-this-
world business ideas in a foreign language, as part of a special space themed
learning day.

Working alongside astrophysicists from Durham University, the Year 10 pupils
learned about zero gravity orbits and were tasked with building a prototype of
an international space hotel and then pitching for funds from French and Spanish
speaking investors.

Participating schools included: Dene Academy, Ferryhill Business and Enterprise
College, Hummersknott School, Seaham High, Sedgefield Community College, St
Bede’s Catholic Comprehensive and Byron Sixth Form College, St John’s Catholic
Comprehensive School and Sixth Form, Tanfield School, Teesdale School and Sixth
Form and Woodham Academy.

Pupils were invited to work in teams, developing ideas based on scientific knowledge
and inspired by the day’s keynote speaker, Dr Azadeh Fattahi, a member of Durham
University’s Institute for Computational Cosmology.

Durham County Council’s international relations team and Business Durham
organised the day to demonstrate how a knowledge of languages and science are
used in the world of work. The day was led by Business Language Champions with
support from Durham University.

Cllr Carl Marshall, Cabinet member for economic regeneration, said “This event has
been a fantastic chance for the young people to practise their language skills in a fun
and engaging way.

“It’s also demonstrated the important role languages can play in real life business
situations and the future career opportunities that they could open up for young

Dr Azadeh Fattahi, from Durham University’s Institute for Computational Cosmology,
said: “Right across our Science Outreach programme here at Durham University, our
aim is to stimulate interest in science and help people understand how it applies to
our everyday lives and what exciting careers are available in science.
“The young people at the Space Challenge event had some great ideas and great
enthusiasm. Who knows, maybe some of them will be the scientists and innovators
of tomorrow?”

Photography Emily Carey (www.silverbirdphotography.com)

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