PRIMARY school pupils enjoyed an out of this world experience designed to inspire them to take up careers in science.

The Academy at St James Primary School in Allerton recently took part in the Rocket Kids tour of UK schools.

The tour is run by community enterprise STEAM Co, which is working with National Careers Week and British Science Week, and aims to get young people more engaged in STEAM subjects Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths.

St James was the only school in Bradford to be part of this tour of the country, and the STEAM Co group visited on Wednesday - helping children set up a rocket launch.

The school held an assembly in the morning, where Nick Corston, co-founder of STEAM Co spoke to children about the science behind rockets and how to make them.

Year 4 pupils then helped create their own rockets, before the entire school went to the playground to watch two rockets be launched.

One was powered by compressed air while the other, more explosive launch, saw a rocket propelled by a tiny amount of dynamite.

The visit coincided with the school’s celebration of British Science Week, and that day they were working on the topic of ‘Make it Move.’

The tour has been inspired by the book, ‘Rocket Boys’ by Homer Hickam, which became a New York Times No 1 best seller and $46 million grossing movie.

It tells the story of Homer, a boy who was growing up in a dead-end coal mining town in America in 1957. On seeing the Sputnik and with the encouragement of this mother and a teacher, he went on to defy his father and make rockets with friends.

He ended up working for NASA.

Head Chris Tolson said: “The launch was an amazing event. The kids absolutely loved it, they just went crazy for it.

“I’d seen this tour on Twitter and got hold of the team. We ended up being the only school in Bradford that was visited.

“Nick also spoke to the kids about careers and what they need to do if they want to get certain jobs. He also spoke about connectivity and the idea of communities coming together.”

Stephen Hawking had died shortly before Mr Corston’s visit, and he spoke of the significance of the acclaimed physician on modern science.

Mr Tolson added: “He used the Rocket Boys story as an inspiration - it is about people telling him what he can’t do, that he can’t make rockets and he goes on to work for NASA.

“It shows that children can do anything if you give them the right opportunities.

“The children will remember this day - 300 of them got really excited counting down from 10 for the launch. It was a great experience for the children to have.

“Science and creativity is really important in school, and it is very important that schools give children opportunities to do these kinds of activities.

“They come away from days like this with lots of new experiences.”

Mr Corston said : “As a dad with two young boys, I’m delighted by the response we’ve had from across the UK for these sessions to showcase why and how communities can inspire their children with creativity and technology.”