The Fantastic Four Wrestle with A Python

Getting to grips with a python may not be a usual feature of the national curriculum, but four pupils from St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School Broadstairs found themselves grappling with a coding python last week in the guise of python programming.

Working with John Hislop of the Monkton Stargazers, the Fantastic Four of Archie, Krzysztof, Freya and Isabelle were inducted into the basics of python programing so that they could participate in Mission Zero.

Mission Zero is a challenge for schools set by the European Space Agency in a bid to brighten up the day of the astronauts orbiting the Earth in the International Space Station. Tim Peake took a Raspberry Pi with a special board brimming with sensors to the International Space Station which can receive messages in python code.

After a morning spent getting to grips with the basics, the hardworking coders wrote a greeting message to the astronauts in python and using the Astro Pi LED Matrix were able to measure and display the ambient temperature inside the space station. Working to a strict time limit of 30 seconds for the whole message, the four pupils concocted and coded their individual message which they then sent to the European Space Agency for checking before being transmitted into space !

The four children had a really enjoyable morning under John’s watchful eye and were not daunted by the complexity of the process. They now eagerly await the go ahead from the European Space Agency who will transmit the message to the ISS and send our participating team an electronic certificate with the timestamps of the code running on the ISS!

The four would like to thank John for their out of this wold experience !


St Joseph's Catholic Primary School
St Peter’s Park Road
CT10 2BA


Tel / Fax: 01843 861738


Kent Catholic Schools Partnership
Telephone: 01622 232662

Executive Principal
Mr Chris Wright

Academy Principal
Mrs Kay Millership

Chair of Governors
Mrs Ann Yandell