Inquiry-based science education is currently receiving a consensus as a pedagogy to teach science at primary and middle school levels, with the goal to reach all children and youngsters, no matter what their future professional choices will be. By the same token, it also greatly increases the fraction of the school population in which future technicians, engineers and sciences could be recruited for further training. La main `a la pˆate is the name of the action undertaken by the French Acad´emie des Sciences to develop inquiry in France, and then in many collaborating countries. The focus is on science as a whole, and not on particular disciplines such as physics, biology, and so on, since it is the understanding of scientific method and use of evidence which is at the heart of inquiry. Yet, astronomy is offering so many opportunities to demonstrate the scientific method that La main `a la pˆate has developed a number of inquiry activities in this field, which are presented here, such as Measuring the Earth, Calendars and cultures, the use of One Laptop per Child for Moon observations, etc.