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Cross Border Schools Science Conference

The Cross-Border Schools Science Conference, on Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th April 2009, aims to bring together some 260 students (130 on each day) aged 13 to 14 (Key Stage 3) from 16 or more schools on both sides of the Border to learn about astronomy and related sciences and mathematics, using the facilities of the Armagh Observatory and the Armagh Planetarium, a combination on the same site unique on the island of Ireland.

Each day, around 130 students will participate in a programme of activities lasting from approximately 10.00am to 3.00pm. This will comprise a plenary lecture by a leading astronomer, Jay Tate of Spaceguard UK, followed by a cycle of structured educational activities in the Armagh Planetarium (Exhibition Area and Show), and the Observatory's Library and Human Orrery. Plenary sessions and lunch will be held in the Royal School Armagh.

Each school is being invited to send up to 16 students plus two teachers (the teachers are expected to accompany student teams throughout the conference). The conference will be free to students and teachers. All are asked to bring a packed lunch with them. Facilities for eating lunch will be provided by the Royal School Armagh. Students are advised to bring rain-gear since at least one of the activities will be outside.

This will be the second Cross-Border Schools Science Conference; the first very successful event took place in March 2007 (see link). Some of the teachers' comments on an evaluation of that conference included: "Great day had by all"; "Pupils enjoyed the day. It was a very well organized event"; A great day out, well worthwhile. Can we please have another one like that?"; "The arrangements for the day were excellent"; "The day was very well organized and a great success. The pupils thoroughly enjoyed themselves."

2009 is the United Nations International Year of Astronomy. This is a world-wide celebration of the 400th anniversary of Galileo's first use of a telescope for astronomical observations. To celebrate this, there will also be a prize for the best painting or drawing of any astronomical object to mark this event. Submissions should be sent by post to Dr Miruna Popescu at Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh BT61 9DG, to arrive before Friday 24th April. The submitted paintings and drawings will be exhibited as a link from the conference website.

by Miruna Popescu

Please complete the Registration Form and return it to the conference organizer, Patricia McAllister, by Friday 3rd April 2009 at the very latest. There are a limited number of places at this conference, so we advise immediate booking (when 16 schools have registered we will take no more). Be sure to mark which day - Wednesday 29th or Thursday 30th April - you would prefer to attend (we will try to accommodate you but can offer no guarantee). Ms McAllister can be contacted at 028 (048 from the Republic of Ireland) 3751-8282 or at p.mcallisterat signqub.ac.uk .

See also:
Programme - PDF
Registration Form - PDF
Centre for Cross Border Studies


Last Revised: 2009 May 6th
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