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Stargoal pupil playing football

A partnership between primary pupils, astronomers and footballers has created a series of out of this world resources to support curriculum-linked science learning, using physical activity as a vehicle to engage pupils. 

A winning combination

With funding from the Royal Society, Durham University astronomer, Dr Alis Deason, formed a collaboration between her astronomy, sports and engagement colleagues, Catchgate Primary School, Team Durham, Education Durham and Durham Women’s Football Team. The partners created ‘Stargoal’ - a series of interactive videos and learning resources to explore the links between physics and football. 

The team also worked with Dr Stacey Pope, an Associate Professor at Durham University and leader in the field of sexism in football. Dr Pope developed a video for the project to support class discussion around sexism in football.  

Pupil scores a goal

Ideas that are out of this world

Throughout the development of Stargoal, the Catchgate Primary pupils shared their ideas, taking part in interactive space and sports sessions at their school, as well as visiting Durham University’s Maiden Castle Sports Centre and the Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics. The pupils explored cosmology and astronomy, and played football with professional women players. The pupils attended the ‘world premiere’ of the videos at a launch event at Durham University earlier this month where they were joined by partner Kate Stephenson from Education Durham, alongside Pippa Evans and Freya Bailes from Durham University Women’s first team and Tom Hizzett from Durham University’s first team. 

Freya has also played first team football for Newcastle United Women’s FC this season, helping them to secure promotion, while Tom has recently been named Durham University Sportsman of the year, successfully helping the University team to win the league for the first time in 67 years.  

This event is one of many organised by the Science Engagement team who work in partnership with schools and communities across the North East, as the University continually develops opportunities to work with and support our community across Durham and the wider region. 

Pupil at work during stargoal

Find out more

  • Explore the work of our Science Engagement team here
  • Find out more about sport at Durham here
  • For more information about education in County Durham click here
  • For tickets and to find out more about Durham Women’s FC click here
  • To find out more about the work of the Royal Society here

Feeling inspired? Visit our Department of Physics webpages to learn more about the work of our department and the programmes on offer.

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