This self-study course has wide appeal to all physics teachers, it could be useful from BGE to AH and would be ideal for use in STEM clubs.


The aim of this course is to introduce you to a number of low-cost, practical activities that allow you to demonstrate the reception of voice or data live from both Low Earth Orbit (including GPS satellites) and Geostationary satellites.

You will also learn a bit about the history of satellites in education and read a first-hand account from the daughter of the physics teacher who made the first ‘observations’. Optionally you will learn a little antenna physics and even some ‘orbital maths’.


It is expected that delegates will purchase their own equipment to complete their chosen three activities. School CDT departments will usually have the materials for Activity 3.

Rough costings:  

Activity  Rough cost 
1.       Listen to Es-Hail geostationary satellite.  £0 
2.       Listen to voice or telemetry from a LEO satellite.  £0 – £5 
3.       Build a satellite antenna of your choice.  £25 
4.       Receive raw GPS data from GPS satellites.  £2 – £25 
5.       Set up your own TinyGS ground station.  £25 -£30 + antenna 
6.       Set up your own SDR receiver.  £20 – £50 + antenna 
7.       Using a cheap handheld radio with an external antenna.  £30 – £40 + antenna 
 8.     Watch a short video about space careers in Scotland.  £0

The resources for this course are:

  • SSERC’s guide to Practical satellite activities for beginners.  
  • Individual support and advice to help with each of the activities. 

In order to provide individual support this course will be limited to 10 places.


Submit your assignment by 29th March 2024,

Apply before 29th February 2024

Cost: £0

Course Leader

Norman Bethune
01383 626070

Assignment and certification

10 CPD hours

Once you have worked your way through the guide, plan and carry out at least three of the activities. 

By 31st March 2023, provide evidence that you have successfully completed each of your chosen three activities. This may include photographs, audio or video files or any other form of evidence. 

Once we have received these details, we will ask you to complete an evaluation.  This course should take no longer than 10 hours to complete.  


This course is free of charge