Students Spaced Out

By Vicki Goss, Science Teacher and STEM Cell Coordinator

On Saturday 4 March four students joined me for the start of the 2017 Astronomy and Space Science Education Conference. A day-long conference for teachers, students were invited to attend the keynote address from Dr Lisa Harvey-Smith, project scientist working with the Square Kilometre Array, the world?s largest radio telescope array.

Her talk covered topics from what exactly a radio wave is, to locations of telescopes around the world, how to best design a radio telescope, opportunities for work in this area (scientists need roads, internet and food too!) as well as why we do any of this ? put simply, it?s the Mt Everest problem, it?s there, we want to know about it and we want to conquer it.

With detailed explanations able to satisfy everyone in the audience (which ranged from primary aged children right up to practising scientists), Dr Lisa Harvey-Smith provided an engaging and informative talk.

Once the keynote speech was complete, our students had the opportunity to meet Dr Lisa and are pictured with her. They then said farewell to me and headed off, while I spent the rest of the day immersed in talks on science education opportunities, resources and methods.

Of particular interest was the multitude of resources available for exploring the galaxy and how to spot exoplanets from the comfort of your own home. Students who are interested in finding out how to do this should make sure to attend STEM Cell, held every Wednesday lunchtime in Lab 22.

Thanks to Radford College for sponsoring me to this conference, and to all Year 8 students who applied for the opportunity to attend this keynote address.

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