The normal school curriculum was suspended in time when a school dedicated a whole week to the exploration of science, space and time travel.
Hundreds of students at Miltoncross were treated to explosive experiments, talks from leading scientists, a massive mobile planetarium and even astronaut food to get them thinking about the miracle of science outside the classroom.
Special guests included theoretical physicist Professor Jim Al-Khalili and Dr David Bacon from the University of Portsmouth’s institute of gravitation and cosmology who fired up boys’ and girls’ imaginations with facts on the universe.
The school was also lucky to host the University of Southampton’s massive space dome planetarium.
Elliot Lyons, 15, says: ‘I like science, but I’ve never experienced anything quite like that. It was inspirational.
‘When David Bacon was talking about making telescopes to discover new life forms, it really struck a chord.
‘I’ve always wanted to explore the unknown but I never knew how. Now that I’ve had this opportunity to meet the scientists who do this for a living, it feels more real.
‘I’d love to be involved in designing spaceships.’
Jack Louth, 13, says: ‘Jim Al-Khalili gave a fascinating talk about travelling to the future. He described the multi-universe, which is a universe within another universe, and really grabbed my attention.
‘I’m not the type of student who is into science, but what he said opened my eyes to how fascinating it could be and now I want to find out more.
‘There were so many other interesting facts. If you send a rocket at the speed of light it would effectively slow down time – while the rocket travels for a year, 10 years would pass back on earth.
‘I thought I wanted to be a business accountant, but now I’m thinking about a possible career in science.’
Jason Smith, head of science at Miltoncross, organised the event.
He says: ‘It went better than I could have hoped. I hope many of the students will come away thinking science may actually be the right career choice for them.’
He adds: ‘For me it’s the unknown that is so intriguing about the universe.
‘Most people have a childhood dream of going into space.
‘There is so much mystery and so much potential for discovery – anyone can be involved.’