Today marks the start of British Science Week 2021, with the theme of Innovating for the Future.

This theme got me thinking about the future and what it might be like.  Will we all be wizzing around in flying cars with robots doing our chores for us at home, like in the cartoon The Jetsons?

Or, will we be heading off to space for our summer holidays?

Space has become a big focus of research recently.  Particularly with the awareness built by the 6-month mission of British astronaut, Tim Peake, to the International Space Station (ISS) from 15th December 2015 to 18th June 2016.  As part of his mission, he needed to use a robotic arm to capture a Dragon supply craft.

That robotic arm is known as Canadarm 2 and was designed and built for the ISS by the Canadian Space Agency. This is an animation showing its function.

This robotic arm allows pieces of equipment to be captured and manoeuvred in space with more strength and at a greater distance than an individual could manage.


So today’s British Science Week activity is to make and use a cardboard robotic arm.

This link ( shows how to construct the arm.  Don’t worry if you don’t have access to a hot glue gun – you can use sellotape instead!

Once you have constructed your robotic arm, why not see what it is capable of?  

What other uses do you think a robotic arm could be put to, here on Earth as well as in space?

Remember to send a picture of your robotic arm to to be in with a chance of winning a prize!

If you want to join in with tomorrow’s activity, you will need an empty plastic bottle, sellotape, some paper, and some jelly!

Until next time, Keep calm and apply some Science!