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l Discover seasonal fundraising ideas and read PTA success stories ‘Our space evening


raised over £800’ ‘We had previously held a “Star Night”, where families took part in space-themed activities and used telescopes to observe the night sky. The event sold out, so it seemed a good idea to run something similar this year – only bigger and better! We applied for a grant from the


Institute of Physics, and were awarded £600 to cover the cost of the event, which we christened “Mars and the Stars”, held from 5:30 to 8:30pm one evening in March. One of our committee members is a Doctor of astrophysics, so she did the majority of the planning and preparation. The grant enabled us to hire a pop-up


planetarium for the event from Creative Space (creative-space.org.uk), which came complete with a very knowledgeable lady who gave six half-hour presentations about the solar system. We also ran some drop-in activities: to make a Martian atmosphere in a bottle; create a Mars lander out of recycling; and make a rocket to launch on the playground. We set up a planets treasure hunt, and a local astronomy enthusiast came along to talk about observing the night sky (it was too cloudy to actually see the stars, sadly). Mars and the Stars was publicised on


our PTA Facebook group, using posters on the school driveway and in a letter sent home with the children. Tickets were sold in advance, and when people booked they nominated which time they wanted to attend the planetarium show. Space in the planetarium was limited to 30 people per session. We charged £5 per head for tickets, for adults and children alike. On the afternoon of the event, Creative


Space set up the planetarium in the KS1 hall, while our volunteer helpers set up the experiments and activities. On arrival, participants were given wristbands showing their planetarium timeslot, and an information sheet showing where the activities were located. We sold glowsticks, and hot and cold


drinks, and raised a total of £826.41. We received some amazing feedback from parents, many of whom commented that there was so much to see and do, they had to tear their kids away at bedtime.’ Sarah Everson, secretary, Friends of Halsford Park Primary, East Grinstead, West Sussex (415 pupils)


pta.co.uk AUTUMN 2019 29 Fundraising


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