A Brief History of the Universe

How did our universe come to exist – and how do scientists help us understand it?

Project page

About Us


11-12 12-13 13-14 14-15 15-16 16-17 17-18


The solar system and beyond


Lesson plan Video


60 minutes

Explore the history of our universe in 60 minutes with Dr Johanna Vos – who also explains how her secondary-school studies led her to an amazing job as an astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

This 60-minute learning programme for pupils aged 11–18 begins with a 30-minute film in which Johanna talks about the background to her career, how the universe was created and her work studying weather patterns on planets. Using the two-page lesson programme, you can then invite pupils to create an ‘edible sun’ using a biscuit, sprinkles, liquorice and chocolate chips.

Lesson plan

Curriculum links

Science: Working Scientifically, Space Physics (KS3)
Key Stages: KS3, KS4, KS5

Northern Ireland:
Science & Technology: Earth & Universe
Key Stages: KS3, KS4, KS5

Sciences: Planet Earth – Space
Levels: Third/Fourth Level, Senior Phase

Science & Technology: Being Curious, Matter
Progression Steps: PS4, PS5, A levels