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-And I'm Joe.
-And this is The Dengineers.
The show that puts you in charge of building your very own dream den.
Dens for adventure.
It's a secret door!
Hanging out with your friends and family.
And dens built to fulfil your dreams.
It's amazing. Thank you so much.
Whatever your idea,
the Dengineers team are here to transform your inspiration into
Built especially for you.
ALL: This den is done!
Today, we've come to Scotland to surprise a girl called Helena,
who absolutely loves looking at the stars.
And lucky for Helena,
she's going to be meeting two of the biggest stars in the business.
-No, I think she means in the sky.
So, what you're trying to say is that Helena won't be needing that
giant gold statue of Lauren Layfield in her den?
No. Of course she's not. You can have it, though.
-You could put it in your garden.
-That's a really good point, Joe.
-I've always liked him.
Today's dengineer is 12-year-old Helena from Dumfries and Galloway in
Please, dengineers, come and build me an observatory den,
where I can study the stars and achieve my dreams of becoming
Helena absolutely loves science and space,
and she takes every chance she gets to teach the people in her town
the wonders of the universe.
She's always rushing up to people and saying,
"How's this for a space fact," and, "Did you know about this?"
-Full Nasa spacesuit costs a whopping 12 million.
Did you know that you could fit 1 million Earths inside the Sun?
There's not many kids like her.
She is very, very smart, and I learn from her.
I think if Helena continues to stay curious and read a lot,
she's well on her way to leading us into space.
When it comes to her ongoing quest for nebula knowledge,
Helena's in luck, because her family live above a book shop that her mum
and dad run.
The books are everywhere,
and Helena's always going into boxes, thinking, "What's in here?"
A Rover's Eye View of the Red Planet.
Having a book shop in your house is brilliant for research,
but it can have its problems, too.
We are working all the time.
Helena just never gets time to go stargazing and that's really
If Helena were to get a den where she could pursue her interests,
it would literally mean the world.
This girl needs an astronomical den right away.
Calm yourself, Joe, a den is exactly what Helena's going to get.
She just doesn't know it yet.
For this stratospheric surprise,
we've come to her mum and dad's book shop and our crafty crew dengineers
have been busy fitting hidden cameras all about the place.
And for today's hit, we're busting out a new bit of kit.
Well, for this surprise we are pretending to deliver some books to
-Helena's book shop in this cardboard box.
-I'm with you.
However, Joe, there are no books in this cardboard box.
-Inside here is our very first cardboard box-cam.
Go on, give the camera a wave.
But there's nothing in it.
There is, Joe.
I'm right up in this box's grill, and I cannot see anything.
Well, there is, Joe, and, in fact, you can hold this,
because we need to get hidden.
Helena is on her way.
Helena will be home in a matter of minutes,
so it's a mad dash to get our Dengineers team out of the shop
and into hiding.
-Is she there? Is she there?
She's coming around the corner, she's coming around the corner.
Helena is back at the book shop.
She's in, she's in. OK, Joe, grab your boxes.
Get YOUR boxes.
This is it, time to deliver Helena the surprise of her life.
Oh, good morning, would you mind taking this top box for me?
Thank you very much.
Come back this way for me.
Hello, there, my name is Lauren.
Just take that from you... is Joe!
Hello, I'm Joe!
We are from CBBC's The Dengineers, but you already know that,
-We've got a camera crew and everything.
Yes, we've got a camera crew, as well.
How are you? Are you surprised?
Yeah, I'm shocked.
It was like, "Would you believe it, somebody's brought some books."
And I believed it, cos obviously we live in a book shop.
Well, Helena, we have heard that you want to build your very own amazing
observatory den, where you can look at the stars and explore
-the universe. Is that right?
-Well, guess what, that's what you're going to get.
-We're going to build it with you.
-How does that sound, Helena?
-I'm so excited.
And we're actually going to start designing it and building it now.
-Like now, yeah?
-Do you want to come with us and we'll start?
That's probably the most surprised I've ever been, like ever.
I'm very excited about building the den,
because you've got professionals that come in and do it, and I get to
show them what my dreams are, and they can make them come true.
I just think it's great for her to have this very special
observatory den in the garden.
She's really curious about exploring other worlds.
It's going to be wonderful for her.
I've never been this happy.
I'm trying not to jump up and down.
Our first port of call is the Dengineers' mobile HQ,
which has some mega-cool technology to get this den rolling.
Helena, this is where we get all of those ideas and plans you've got in
your head, and we download them and get them up onto the screen.
And you are the boss,
so make sure you get right in there and pick out the stuff that you want
-for your den. Does that sound all right?
First of all, kick things off for us, what is the theme of your den?
I like stargazing and reading the galaxy.
What got me started was I did this project on space.
That's when I decided I wanted to find if there was any life up in
-I want to read it.
-You can read it. I've got it.
-I appreciate that, thank you very much.
-And this is Amy Hoffman,
-Has she ever been to space?
No. She is looking for life on Europa, one of Jupiter's moons.
Imagine that that's your job, and it's really cool, isn't it,
seeing loads of girls in science?
I love that like boys get into science,
but it's thought that science is too dangerous for girls.
-Which it isn't.
-So do you think that's a bit of a problem, then?
Yes, because it stops girls doing what they want to do.
So, if you had a message for any girls out there who are wondering
whether I should do science, what would you say to them?
Definitely do it, because it's not just for boys,
and girls can do it too.
-There you go.
I'd like it to look something like this.
Basically a mini observatory.
We've never done anything like that before.
And this is cool.
Planets in the den, and like star charts.
Ah, yes. Amazing.
This is called an eclipse.
It's when the sun's shining in the sky and then the moon comes
-I love it. It's a cool shape for some element of your den.
I genuinely think this is going to be the most incredible den.
It's going to be out of this world.
Helena has decided on an observatory look for her den,
complete with a classic dome-shaped roof.
She'd also love to include planet and solar eclipse imagery into the
But which designer will make Helena's stargazing dreams
She's a specialist in creating the most amazing dens, and can make
any space look totally awesome.
So, Helena, this is the floor plan.
It's based on two levels and they're both circular,
so it does look like the sun and the moon.
That's amazing! I love it.
I have been inspired by the solar eclipse,
because I know how passionate you are about stargazing.
It looks like as if they are merging on top of one another.
This is going to be the first rotating den that the dengineers are
going to embark on.
So, she can see any part of the sky that you want.
-I'm very excited.
What is it about the stargazing that you really like?
I want to find out, when I'm older, if there's any life in space.
What I have planned for the outside,
we are going to have your own solar system,
as if you have discovered something new.
It's amazing. I love it.
So, do I get the thumbs-up?
-Look at that.
Maral's plans have been given the Galactic seal of approval by Helena.
She's designed the Dengineers' first ever rotating den,
which will give Helena and her telescope a 360 degrees view of
the night sky. From the top,
the structure will look like the early stages of a solar eclipse,
and the walls will contain various planets and stars to make up
Helena's very own solar system.
Design signed off, it's time to boot Mum and Dad back into the book shop.
Hello, Mum and Dad. I don't know why I'm saying hello, because...
..it's goodbye time.
From this moment on, this garden is dengineers only.
What you say, Helena?
Goodbye and no peeking!
Bye. Love you, Pop. Bye.
To take our mind off these next four days, what are we going to do?
-Carry books up and down the stairs. Count the books.
-Hopefully sell some books.
Parents gone, the next job is to figure out a way of getting
30 metres of electrical cabling from the side of the house down to where
the den will be.
But, luckily for us, we know a man with an electronic mole.
Helena, meet Dixie. Dixie's a mole.
We use a mole to get cables and pipes from one side of a
car park or road to the other, without actually making any mess.
Is this Dixie's first den?
It is, but I think he's perfect for the job.
The plan is to use this impact mole to force a path through the ground,
displacing the soil as it goes,
creating a route for the electrical cabling needed to power the den.
But before Dixie can start his quest,
Helena's assistance is required to dig a pit for him to start in.
Everything's in place.
It's time for Dixie to start his journey.
Final destination, the den.
It's going so fast.
Like a mild earthquake.
Dixie makes light work of Helena's garden and reaches the den site in
double quick time.
Yeah, it's come through!
And whilst the team lay the electrical cabling,
Helena moves on to a slightly larger digging implement...
Bill, where do you want this?
Just pick it up and take it over to the right.
..because the next job is to construct a concrete base to support
the weight of Helena's den.
With the ground ready for action,
it's time for the rest of us dengineers to arrive in Scotland.
The dengineers have been made to feel extremely at home,
and the first job is to put up the main structure of our
which has been constructed from nearly 400 metres of timber.
That's roughly the length of four football pitches.
It is the first ever rotating den that we are going to do on
Dengineers, so it's a huge task, but we can do it.
It's like a jigsaw.
All the pieces are going together.
It really is.
The den's coming together nicely, and Dengineer David needs Helena's
help to make sure the structure is attached securely.
One more. Beautiful.
-That's it. Perfect.
-There you go!
Our Helena's proving to be a power tool pro.
Time to pass on her building wisdom to me.
Pull the trigger, but the harder you press the trigger the faster it will
-So, just keep it at a slow and steady pace.
That was the best thing I've ever heard anyone say.
-Slow and steady pace.
Slow and steady, OK.
There we go.
The Dengineers are making speedy work of putting up the structure of
We just need to line it all up now.
And Helena has an idea of how to give the team's brains
a work-out, too.
I've planned a planet quiz for the Dengineers to see if they know their
So, I'm going to flash a planet at you,
and you have to tell me what its name is.
OK, let's go.
-So, what's this one?
-Earth. 1-0 to me.
-OK, that one's Saturn.
Yes! Come on!
-Whoa, you're good.
The Dengineers are showing they're a clever bunch,
but there's one picture that's proving particularly problematic.
Which surface is this?
-It's digestive biscuit.
As day one draws to a close,
the team have made amazing progress and the mood on site is sky-high.
It's got a great view from up here.
I've had so much fun today. It's been great.
The build's gone really well.
Helena has been absolutely brilliant with chipping in with different
elements of the work, and I'm looking forward to having her around
for the next couple of days.
The build is off to a meteoric start,
so I'm taking Helena off-site to the Royal Observatory Edinburgh,
a place that is constantly striving to be at the cutting edge of
astronomy research and technology.
Have you ever seen a telescope that big before?
No. That's massive!
As well as loads of astronomy equipment,
this place is home to Dr Pamela Klaassen,
who is working on a very special part of the James Webb space
telescope, which will be the largest ever telescope launched into space.
The instrument is called Miri, the mid-infrared instrument.
What Miri can do that nothing else before it has been able to do is see
in very great detail what's going on in the cold universe,
what's out there.
One thing that Miri does really well is split up light to help
astronomers get a better understanding of space.
And it does that through a cool bit of kit called an image slicer.
We've actually got one of the image slicers themselves right here.
And what we also have is a fake galaxy that we can project onto this
model of our image slicer here.
So, if you have all of the light together,
-it all becomes one large jumble of information.
But if we split it up with these smartly designed image slices,
that jumble becomes something that we can understand.
In this case of this galaxy, what's going on in there.
-That is so fascinating.
And how long have you been working on something like this?
Miri was first thought up a little over 20 years ago,
and it's taken that long to get it to the stage that it's out now.
How far away in space will this be able to go?
So, we're going to be able to see back to some of the earliest
Almost all the way back to the beginning of the universe.
-Millions of years ago.
-BILLIONS of years.
Billions of years ago.
And, Helena, you really want to know about whether there's any life out
there. Do you think this equipment is something that could help?
We're definitely going to be able to see some really cool
stuff with this.
It was amazing, because I understand more about how you can actually
split up galaxies using mirrors inside the telescope,
and then see if there actually is any more
life out there than we think.
This place is full of humongous telescopes, and before we go,
I want to introduce Helena to another astronomical beast.
Now this telescope is super,
super powerful, and I'm told that this can actually see the rings of
You can see Jupiter's moons.
-How cool is that?
How does that compare to your telescope at home?
It's a lot bigger, and obviously, it can see a lot more, as well.
Well, this telescope doesn't actually belong to
because it belongs to you now.
-And it's going to go in your den!
What do you think?
We're going to have to build like a big door.
Today's been amazing because I've got to see what not many other
people would be able to see, and I also got a great present.
It's going to mean a lot, because I can see what I couldn't see before,
so I can go further into space.
It's day two in Dumfries and Galloway,
and the team are making a start on the flooring in the den.
-What do the speckles looked like?
The floor is coming along nicely,
but the next mission may be slightly more tricky.
The biggest job of today is to get the roof on and make sure the whole
mechanism works, because that is what makes the den the observatory.
Whilst the team make some finishing touches to the dome,
I catch up with Maral to find out
how this roof is going to give Helena
the best possible view of the night sky.
We're not just having a roof that flips open,
-because that's quite dangerous.
We have engineered a solution for this roof to rotate.
And it actually then has two flaps that open.
So, the roof rotates 360 degrees and the two flaps open 90 degrees.
So, she can see as many stars, constellations, and planets
So what happens, what's all this about?
These are what we call little casters.
They're just like wheels, but they are fixed.
Why are there wheels facing in different directions?
Surely you just need these wheels so it can go round in a circle?
The wheels on the outside help the roof rotate in one fixed direction.
-The wheels on the inside assist it to actually stay
in position. So, have a look.
This actually rotates.
-If I push it, the bowl doesn't go anywhere.
-As roofs go, it's pretty cool, isn't it?
To create our very first rotating roof,
the team have engineered a metal track on which the dome will sit.
This track has horizontal and vertical casters to keep the roof
securely in position, whilst allowing it to rotates 360 degrees,
giving Helena and her telescope VIP access to the night sky.
Rotating roof explained,
the team grab a quick bite to eat inside the book shop.
We kind of get busy, but not as busy as this.
And then it's back outside to take on the biggest job of the build.
Time to raise this roof and see if it works.
I'm quite nervous, because it could just collapse.
-I suppose, yeah.
-Right, it's happening.
-Here we go.
Better pull your fingers out of the way.
As it goes down, watch your fingers.
The roof is on, but does it rotate?
-What was that?
What's the problem?
There's a bit of the roof that is not quite even.
So some of it is nipping the edges.
It's really important that the dome works, because that's the key point
If it doesn't rotate, then I won't be able to see stuff in the sky.
I'm just worried it's not going to work.
There's a part of the roof that is slightly too thick and is catching
when the dome starts to rotate.
The only solution is to carefully trim the section down without
damaging the rest of the roof.
-Oh, found it.
Don't break it.
After some painstakingly precise work,
it's time to test the roof once again.
Looks good, guys.
Hey! It's so cool.
The dengineers are over the moon, and Helena and Maral celebrate by
making a start on planets for the den's very own solar system.
-Do we have a name for it?
-Since it was made by you, Maralsion.
-Amazing, I love it.
With day two coming to a close,
I grabbed five minutes with Helena's mum and dad to find out how
important this den will be for our budding astrophysicist.
What's it like for Helena living above the book shop?
Well, I think she really loves it, actually.
It's a magical place, and she knows that books are just going to the
-world to her.
You must be busy, though. Are you open everyday?
-Yeah, we're open every day.
We haven't actually had a weekend for 13 years.
Do you think it's frustrating for Helena?
Yes, I think so.
We're really lucky to live near a dark sky park,
which means that there's no light pollution.
And you can see the stars really clearly.
And that's even more frustrating for Helena, not to be able to get out,
because we don't have the time to take her.
With that in mind, what's this den going to mean to Helena?
She's going to be able to just go down the garden and look at the
-And it's just taking her that step from looking at the books,
imagining, to actually exploring.
The build has reached day three and from this point on,
Helena will not see her den again until the big reveal tomorrow.
I'm not that nervous about not seeing my den until tomorrow,
because I trust Maral and the Dengineers.
With Helena out of sight,
Dengineer Harriet starts making a snazzy star chart for the inside of
the den, so Helena can see what constellations are out there.
What are you doing? This is a secret.
And Helena is needed away from the den to help Maral with
a cosy upcycle.
What I have planned is to turn this old fleece blanket into a poncho
that you can wear when you're stargazing in your observatory.
-Cool! Sounds great.
The first step is to fold the blanket into a triangle
so Maral can cut a hole where Helena's head will go.
So, we have our triangle, yeah?
-Now, how big is your head do you reckon?
After making a head-shaped hole...
-There we go. Actually, that fits quite well.
..Maral and Helena decorate the poncho with some cosmic creations.
-That's a nice little star.
The next time Helena will see her stargazing poncho,
it'll have pride of place in her amazing den.
Back on site, the team have been working flat out all afternoon,
and the den is looking in great shape for the big reveal tomorrow.
It means so much that Helena likes her den.
We have all worked so hard.
When that curtain opens tomorrow,
I hope Helena will think this is the best den she could ever wish for.
It's the morning of the big reveal, and there's just enough time to add
some stellar finishing touches to the den.
I am loving the little shooting star details on that.
-There we go.
-Is that it, are we done? Yes!
This space started as an empty patch of garden.
But Maral and the dengineers have worked wonders in just four days,
and transformed it into an awesome observatory perfect for exploring
The stage is set for the big reveal, and Helena's friends,
family, and classmates have arrived at the book shop eager to see
I am really excited about seeing my den.
It will have changed a good lot, because Maral and the dengineers
-It's going to help Helena in oh so many ways.
She's going to be reaching for the stars, discovering, who knows?
New planets. She maybe even name them after the Dengineers.
The book shop is packed with people,
including a special guest all the way from Nasa, Lee Graham,
who first met Helena back when she was seven years old.
-Oh, my gosh.
I'm really excited about seeing Helena's den.
There's probably 16,000 Nasa employees, and I'd hazard a guess
that just about every one would love to have an observatory den in their
The waiting is over, guys, because, in true space exploration style,
it's countdown time.
ALL: Three, two, one!
It's so good!
Helena dreamt of her own observatory where she could explore space and
search for life out in the universe.
And the dengineers have produced a stratospheric show-stopper of a den.
It's way better than I thought it was going to be.
Oh, that is awesome!
She's gone, she's gone.
Dad, what do you think?
From above, the den looks like the start of the solar eclipse and the
front is plastered with planets which make up Helena's very own
Do you want to see something a little bit special?
In a Dengineers first, this den can rotate,
giving our Helena a 360-degrees view of the night sky.
We are missing somebody.
I love it, it's great!
I can't believe that this is in our garden.
This observatory gets even better on the inside,
with a gigantic telescope, a desk for Helena to note her cosmic
findings, her upcycled poncho, and a star chart with added sparkle.
-Hit this button.
-Oh, my goodness me.
My den's fantastic.
I love it. The dengineers have done such a good job.
I love all the elements of hard work they've put into it.
You'll be able to learn a lot and discover so many new things.
Thank you so, so much.
You've brought my dreams to life.
It has been my absolute pleasure of being part of Helena's journey in
becoming an astrophysicist, hopefully, in the future.
Oh, my word!
This is a poncho that I can wear when I'm stargazing.
Oh, I like that.
It's a thousand times better than I thought it was going to be.
I had absolutely no idea it was going to look like this.
It's just extraordinary.
-Switch it and it turns on.
I think Helena's den's going to get more girls into science,
because you can see all the stars in the telescope.
I just love how she wants to motivate and encourage girls
to follow their dream.
And, you know, whatever you wish for, as long as you try hard,
you get it.
I don't think she's ever going to forget this.
It's going to launch her into the night sky.
Working with the dengineers has been a great experience.
It's a one in a lifetime chance and I feel like the luckiest kid on the
Everybody here in Scotland is in total agreement.
Helena's observatory den is out of this world.
ALL: This den is done!