Pupils get message from outer space

Bedford High School  Aaron Jones and Beth Ratcliffe, both 14, with science teacher Peter Sugden and their models of the space station and the shuttle Discovery
Bedford High School Aaron Jones and Beth Ratcliffe, both 14, with science teacher Peter Sugden and their models of the space station and the shuttle Discovery
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LEIGH school pupils have been encouraged to do well in their exams after receiving a good luck message that was literally out of this world.

Bedford High School has been boldly stepping out into the final frontier after exchanging messages on social media with the International Space Station (ISS) orbiting more than 250 miles above the Earth.

Teachers and pupils sent a message to the station asking for encouragement for the pupils sitting their science GCSEs, and were delighted to receive a rare personal reply from Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano, telling them: “The future counts on you.”

The Bedford pupils have been following the progress and work of the ISS for the past month while it has been visible in the skies above Leigh, and teachers hope this will inspire a new generation of scientists.

Science teacher Peter Sugden said: “We were incredibly lucky to get a tweet from him while he orbited Earth, wishing our science students good luck.

“Considering that he has over 44,000 followers and has only ever sent a handful of tweets to these followers we were privileged indeed.”

More than 150 pupils have been scanning the sky using telescopes to get a view of the ISS, which looks like a slow-moving shooting star, while school clubs have also carried out space-themed projects.