Pupils Discover Wonders of the Universe
Monday, 02 July 2012
Nearly 130 Bolton students discovered the wonders of the universe at an Ogden Trust event held at Bolton School. Year 8 pupils from Bolton School Girls' and Boys' Divisions were joined by pupils from Turton High School, Essa Academy and Bolton Muslim Girls School in the 'Spaced Out' event, complete with inflatable planetariums!
One inflatable planetarium encouraged the children to investigate how the earth formed and developed; they explored our place in the Universe and looked at the inner planets of the solar system. The children also took a journey into the night sky with another planetarium, where they 'visited' the outer planets of the solar system and delved into the night sky and its wonders as seen from earth.
Dr Simon Roberts, Ogden Science Officer at the University of Nottingham, also participated in the event, working with students to answer the question: 'How big is the Earth?' Pupils used GPS locators to take a series of measurements that allowed them, using some challenging mathematics, to calculate the circumference and volume of the Earth.
Some pupils were able to participate in Galaxy Zoo, a real-life science research project helping astronomers explore the Universe. Using the school's iPads students were taught how to classify galaxies into different categories. They joined more than 250,000 other people who have contributed to Galaxy Zoo so far, producing a wealth of valuable data and sending telescopes on Earth and in space chasing after their discoveries. Students were also shown how to take part in other citizen science projects which encourage public participation in active scientific research.
Feedback from pupils was very positive says event organiser Brendan Ickringill, Bolton School teacher and Bolton Ogden IOP Physics Fellow: "Pupils loved the inflatable planetariums and asked some really interesting questions; the GPS session proved to be the most challenging but that didn't seem to take away from the enjoyment. Bolton School Girls' Division were particularly captivated by Galaxy Zoo!"
The event was sponsored by The Ogden Trust, Bolton School and the Institute of Physics.