Date: April 28, 2010

Title: StarryTelling (TM) at the British School of Washington


Podcasters: BSW Students Oscar, Cornelia, Katie, Connie, Abigail, Tom, Khairul, Ina, Jonah, Thomas, Andreas, Isaac, Isabel, Manveer, Solu, and Tatiana

Organization: Giraffe ‘n’ Ant Productions: From the Big Picture to the Tiny Details, coordinated by Elizabeth F Wallace.,

Description: After being mentored in astronomy by 11th Form BSW students, 4th Form students created their own delightful sky stories in preparation for the April 2010 Family Day at the NASM’s Einstein Planetarium. There’s high adventure as well as love and loss in their contemporary skylore.

Bio: The British School of Washington

With its high quality British-style education, the BSW, located in NW Washington, attracts students from the American, British and international communities in the Metro DC area. Students aged 3-11 follow the International Primary Curriculum while secondary students work toward the International Baccalaureate. The school culture encourages independence, self-discipline and and appreciation of diverse opinions and cultures. Special thanks to teachers Christopher Horton, Katie Gough, Eleanor Hutchins and Kelvin Williams.

Today’s sponsor: This episode of “365 Days of Astronomy” is sponsored by John Sandlin because a little astronomy illuminates the darkest nights.


Authors: Solu, Isabel, Manveer and Tatiana

When the world was not as we know it, there was no day, only night. And there was no sun, only stars. In an African village, there were two very curious children. They were the only ones ever to go outside their homes. One day, the children went out to explore the savannah. They realized that the world needed more light and off they went.

Child: What’s the tallest thing you know?
Child 2: A giraffe!
Child: Let’s climb its neck! Hello, Giraffe.
Giraffe: Hello, Children!
Child: You wouldn’t mind us climbing up your neck, would you?
Giraffe: Not at all.

The 2 children planned to ask a star to help them.

Star: Hello, children!
Child: Could you please let there be more light?
Star: I’ll try.

The star got millions of star friends and they all joined together to make a huge fireball.
That night the village went to sleep. When they woke up, they saw a beautiful light. Sunrise. Rising from the grey hills like a great fire, it topped the horizon and sat contentedly in its place in the glistening blue sky.

Village Voices: Hoorah!

Planet 63 and the Black Hole
Authors: Thomas, Andreas and Isaac

In a galaxy a billion light years away from earth, a star exploded. Even from Planet 63 you could see the bright orange ball of fire rise into the sky. Then, an even larger explosion caused a brightness never imagined on Planet 63. When the brightness died away, a huge black mass was left. The creatures of Planet 63 instantly recognized it as a black hole!

Planet 63 was a very peaceful planet with creatures who were purple with orange spots all over them, four arms, and two tongues. No one ever hurt anyone or anything else.

But when the Black Hole was formed, their precious planet started to be drawn towards it. When Planet 63 started to move, they had a meeting in their government building. They decided to send a fleet of destroyers. The fleet set out to destroy the black hole. Everyone in the fleet was a trained pilot.

When they had traveled for a few days, they mysteriously began to get faster and faster. They soon realized that this was because they were in the range of the black hole! They then realized that they had a limited amount of time before they were sucked in!

They loaded their torpedo guns with space torpedoes. They fired the space torpedoes at the stars around them that were also getting sucked into the black hole.

All the stars blew up with a deafening boom! The pieces of star hit the black hole with such force that the hole exploded! It was an even bigger explosion than before!

Their ship was thrown back a long way by the explosion. They turned around and dodged the star pieces. They reached their planet and were remembered for that day and honored as gods.

Authors: Jonah, Ina, Khairul, and Tom

Orion was the greatest hunter in all of Greece, a friend of the gods and a hero among men. Orion heard about the legendary bull which dwelled in the Far East.

Being a fearless hunter, he stood down to no challenge. Orion took his steed and rode through dangerous mountains, parched deserts and forests thick with wild beasts.

At last Orion found the cave of Taurus. As he trenched through the carpet of remains of past hunters, Orion saw no end to this miserable tunnel.

At the point when Orion was going to collapse from exhaustion he saw it. The great white bull of Hades stood bearing its horns menacingly.

Suddenly it charged toward him. Orion dived down under the bull. Orion notched an arrow and shot upwards into its belly. The bull crumpled on top of Orion and he could not escape. Suddenly, Hades appeared and he banished Orion to Tartarus. Zeus came and found Orion’s bow and threw it, and the bull, into the stars.

Orion still hunts the bull today in the stars.

How the Planets were Created
Authors: Nicholas, Evan, Joe and Sebastian

Before mankind was created, all the planets were either liquid or gas except one star. That very star imploded due to its ancient age, then it caused a super nova. It created a colossal black hole. In the meantime, the gods were trying to defeat and destroy the god of the black hole, Blackides. However, they failed and died, except for the god of Mercury, Mercilles. The Gladiator succeeded and defeated Blackides. After that the planets became solid and formed the Great Milky Way in a galaxy far far away…..

Apollo and Hades
Authors: Diego, Leo, Oliver, and Eirik

A long time ago, Apollo, the god of fire and Hades the god of darkness ruled the universe. One day Apollo decided he wanted to create the planets. But Hades stole the idea. He began to create planets himself. This made Apollo angry. The idea was his own so war began to rage. Apollo launched fireballs whilst Hades engulfed the flames. They fought for many centuries but Apollo was victorious. The planets were created and Apollo reigned for 10,000 years. Hades was locked in prison deep below the earth. He was plotting his revenge. One day he escaped and began to destroy some of the Apollo’s planets. He stole Apollo’s eternal light. But Apollo defeated him. This is why we have 12 hours of darkness each day and only 8 planets in space.

Authors: Hussein, Brent and John

Five billion years ago there was creatures that created Arctus. They exploded Arctus and made all eight other planets. They found the light on the earth by opening the gates on the sun. And then there was an eclipse with the moon and sun and other planets and then there was light on sun and earth and 8 planets.

The Battle for Light
Authors: Cornelia, Katie, Connie and Abigail

Once there were two gods, Athemus, the god of light, who was a handsome and strong god, and was treated much better than the god of darkness, Blackle, a hideous monster with three eyes. He was as ugly as a toad. They were once friends but that had changed over time.

Athemus had gotten older and wanted more friends and sooner or later he got married and had a daughter as beautiful as a rose. Her name was Aurora. But Blackle was jealous of the happy family. He stole the princess Aurora! The next day, Athemus woke to a sight of horror! His beautiful daughter had been stolen!

He knew who had done the awful deed. He looked through icy lands and hot deserts. He found them deep in a forest. He took Aurora home and because he was soooo angry with Blackle, he went to his cave and whispered, “Come with me” and then he took Blackle to space. There a war began.

Athemus, threw his powers at Blackle, but he missed and instead created something better…the stars and the sun. Then Blackle was so angry he threw his powers at Athemus but he missed as well and created something horrible, black holes. The war was over but no one had won. But in came a shooting star and carried Blackle away through the Milky Way and beyond the stars and is still there to this day. Finally, Athemus and his family were safe and that is why we have black holes, stars and a sun today.

Interview with Kids afterward.

Was it fun to do the project?
It was fun doing like working with the Year 11’s how they think differently from us, and how they prepared different things for us. But they were all very different so some were like how small we were, and we discovered how small we were, and then we took all those ideas, and then we made our own stories, so like most of the stories were made were like, mythical, or like, not like real. Mostly like legends and things. So that was pretty fun making it.

So had you ever worked before with the older kids?
Sometimes when we did reading in Year 3 but not a lot.

Can you tell me what you liked about doing this project?
Working with different people. That’s what I really liked about doing this. Working with different people because now I feel more confident like working with other people.

Did working on the project make you think a little more about astronomy and whether you would be interested in it?
Well yeah, yes and also when we were making the story up, when we were done, somehow it seemed kind of realistic, like it actually happened in the olden times.

Can you tell me a little bit about why you liked doing this project?
Well, I liked it because, like, then I wasn’t really good in plays, and I couldn’t remember much about like the script but now I think it’s easier than the last time when I didn’t know because, also, we had a little time, but still it was, it made me remember it.

Can you tell me what you liked about doing this project?
Well, I learned a lot from this because at first, even though I liked space I really didn’t know very much about it. And even though this wasn’t a storytelling about planets and solar systems and like that, it still told me that stories don’t necessarily have to be about space to be a bit like space because our story was about mythological creatures but it was about space at the same time. And that was really weird … I didn’t know that could happen before.

I found it really scary to be recorded to be in the Air and Space museum. (Giggles)

End of podcast:

365 Days of Astronomy
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