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Celebrating Apollo 11’s 50th anniversary

22 July 2019

Last week marked the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landings of Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin, who on 20th July touched down following a four-day journey in space.

Stockton-on-Tees-based Egglescliffe School and Sixth Form College celebrated the landmark 50th anniversary with a special event bringing together some of the greatest names of space science for a second year in a row.

Fifty years ago, on 16 July 1969, Apollo 11 launched from Cape Kennedy, Florida, carrying astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin. The mission was to make history accomplishing a seemingly impossible goal set by President John F Kennedy in 1961, on a seemingly impossible timeline.

The celebration event, spread across day- and evening-time talks, gave students, parents and the community, the opportunity to hear from NASA’s Chief Scientist Jim Green, Dr Andy Aldrin, ShareSpace Foundation, Dr Suzie Imber, winner of the 2017 BBC Two – Astronauts: Do you have what it takes?, James Burke, presented from BBC’s Tomorrow’s World, prof. David Southwood and more.

Mr M Cowan, Deputy Headteacher (Standards and Achievement) at the school said:

“Last year’s event success meant that a follow-up is absolutely appropriate. Events like this are all about raising students’ aspirations. The Apollo 11 Moon landings are no less relevant today than 50 years ago. If anything, the breaking of new boundaries is more relevant than ever, as we continue to progress in fields of research.”

The event was well attended with students from years seven, eight and nine (ages 11-14) hearing from the star speaker panel and having the opportunity to ask questions and share their thoughts.

The school has got a longstanding tradition and affinity for space with some of the original schoolhouse blocks being named after some of the astronauts involved in the Apollo 11 mission.

North East STEM Ambassadors from the space sector participated in an hour-long discussion with the students, answering questions and providing insight into their careers and day-to-day tasks and projects they are working on.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen attended the evening session and congratulated the school on their efforts and on organizing such an exciting event.

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