Navigation

News and events

Local children take learning to astronomical heights

27 August 2013

Lyndsey Boardman

UCLan summer school inspires children through science

Pictured below: Astronomy Summer School students

Lancashire’s keenest schoolchildren are already back in the classroom and exploring the universe thanks to a week-long summer school at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

15 pupils from Preston and the wider region have spent an intensive week at the University taking part in an Astronomy Summer School. The teenagers have learned about the latest technology used in space exploration, the physics behind astronomy and how we can search for life on other planets.

They also visited UCLan’s Alston Observatory to look at distant galaxies in its dome planetarium system that projects images of the universe above the heads of viewers.

“The whole idea behind the summer school is to enthuse and inspire children through science, particularly astronomy, and allow them to really stretch themselves academically.”

Katie Woodruff, a 15-year-old pupil from Penwortham Girls’ Grammar School, completed a group project looking at the Hinode Telescope.

She said: “It’s been a really exciting week and I particularly enjoyed watching a simulation showing how galaxies collide. I’m really interested in science and I’m thinking of studying astronomy at university.”

Another participant, 15-year-old Chloe Lester from Lancaster Girls’ Grammar School, said: “We’ve learned a lot in a short space of time from the many type of telescopes used in astronomy to how the universe is expanding. I want to work in engineering so I’m very interested in physics and the knowledge I’ve got from this summer school will be beneficial for my final year at school.”

“I want to work in engineering so I’m very interested in physics and the knowledge I’ve got from this summer school will be beneficial for my final year at school.”

UCLan Astronomy Summer School

All of the schoolchildren were able to present what they’ve learned at the end of the week to their parents in a graduation style ceremony at the University.

UCLan lecturer Dr Joanne Bibby from the Jeremiah Horrocks Institute for Mathematics, Physics & Astronomy led the project.

She said: “The whole idea behind the summer school is to enthuse and inspire children through science, particularly astronomy, and allow them to really stretch themselves academically. All of the children have worked hard and I’m sure they will take what they’ve learned this week and be ready to apply it when they return to school.”