The winners of Plymouth’s first ever Classroom To Moon Challenge have been announced.
Prizes included a visit from mobile planetarium Space Odyssey for winning schools or new scooter storage from Scooterpods, providing a real incentive for clocking up those space-minutes. Small prizes of water-bottles, pens or reflective keyrings along the way rewarded ‘Walker of the Week’ in assemblies across Plymouth as well.
Compton Church of England Primary School have won a visit from Space Odyssey’s Voyager dome in their school hall in January 2019, Plympton Academy who will welcome the Galileo Dome in March, while Holy Cross Catholic Primary School and Pennycross Primary School have won Scooterpods.
The challenge took place between Monday 1 October and Friday 2 November in Plymouth and was part of Plymouth City Council’s Plymotion scheme which aims to encourage more people to walk, cycle or travel by bus.
Pupils carried ‘Astro Mo’ from more than 60 of Plymouth’s schools in a walking relay that covered 80 miles and pupils were asked to record how many minutes they walked to and from school – the minutes were then converted to miles to give a grand total of 225638 miles, which is more than the distance to the moon when it is closest to the earth.
Councillor Mark Coker, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Infrastructure, said: “Congratulations to the winners of the Classroom To Moon Challenge and to all the pupils, parents and staff who were involved in making this a great success. We need to do all we can do to encourage more people to walk to school and this was a great scheme.”
Tessa Price, Plymouth City Council’s School Travel Engagement Officer said: “We hoped we would reach our collective target of Astro Mo reaching the moon with all the minutes the children walked but we never expected the journey to be so much fun! Many schools really embraced the idea that walking to their next nearest school and offering a Friendship Flag to them could kick-start a new bond between them. We were delighted when students were raring to meet us at their school gates, even in the rain. I am confident many schoolchildren convinced their parents to leave their cars at home a few more times than usual during October and I hope that this healthy habit continues.”
Jake Daykin, Head teacher of Hooe Primary Academy said: “Thanks for organising the Classroom To Moon Challenge. Our children really enjoyed getting involved and we had a great time on the relay walk. The project gave our children the chance to do a lot of maths work and to learn about science and the importance of healthy lifestyles. It also resulted in a lot more of our children (and their parents) walking to and from school, which is always a good thing. We would definitely like to be involved if you run a similar project in the future.”
The Plymotion team is now looking at next year’s challenge for Walk To School Month in October 2019, but they also provide advice and support to schools all year round to encourage people to use more sustainable routes to school, such as walking, cycling or travelling by bus. If you think your school could do more on this email firstname.lastname@example.org