UCL News


Awards to get youngsters starry-eyed about space

27 July 2006

The Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council has awarded researchers at the UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory £10,000 each to finance projects that will enthuse the next generation about space science.

Dr Tracey Poole plans to use the funds to set up a mobile centre that will allow her to run workshops for schools and youth groups in rural communities as well as at the UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory, which is based in Dorking in Surrey.

During activity days (to be held during the week and at weekends) and evening visits, children will learn about space through a number of hands-on tasks, including viewing the sun through pinhole cameras, making models of comets and building a simple Galilean telescope.

Dr Lucie Green will devote her award to developing and distributing school resources focusing on the sun and its role in the solar system. Workshops, one for 7-11 year olds and another for 11-16 year olds, will form the central plank of this project.

Postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers will be trained in science communication under the award to hold the workshops in schools across the UK.

Both awards were made under the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council's Small Awards Scheme, which provides funds for small, local or pilot projects promoting particle physics; space, ionospheric, solar and planetary science; astronomy; astrophysics; or cosmology.

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