UCL News


Young stars come out for summer

13 September 2006

Space scientist Dr Lucie Green (UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory) has been no slouch over the summer break.

luciegreen Instead of sipping pina coladas by the pool, she's been inspiring the next generation of astronomers at summer schools across the UK.

Dr Green went along to the Children's University in Bedford where, along with 150 students, she made craters and looked at how and whether an impact from space killed off the dinosaurs.

The children, aged 9 to 12, came from across Bedfordshire and the event was organised by the Education Business Partnership for Bedford and Luton. The students spent one week doing a variety of space-related activities from art to science, and was intended to give the students a taste of university education.

The second summer school Dr Green attended was funded by the National Academy for Gifted & Talented Youth and was held at Imperial College in London.

Dr Adam Burnley (UCL Physics & Astronomy) ran the first week of the two-week programme, and Dr Green took over for the latter half. Sixteen talented children were treated to a range of exciting activities, including a trip to the University of London Observatory at Mill Hill, where they discovered first-hand how astronomers work and also conducted their own research into areas such as working out when and how will the Sun die and looking for extra-terrestrial intelligence in our galaxy.

Dr Green said: "Although exhausting, the summer schools are extremely rewarding for me, seeing how much the children get out of it. We all really had a lot of fun, and hopefully learned something along the way. Events like these are really great ways to encourage young people to pursue science at school and beyond, and to illustrate how important these subjects are for our understanding of the world and universe that surrounds us."

Image: Dr Green