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Programme - PDF - Armagh Observatory

Programme - PDF - Armagh Observatory

The Cross-Border Schools

The Cross-Border Schools Science Conference 2009 General Information 1. The Cross-Border Schools Science Conference, on Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th April 2009, aims to bring together in Armagh some 260 Key Stage 3 students (130 on each day), aged 13–14, 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. 2. The programme of activities (see below) will last from approximately 09:30 to 15:20: • Plenary lecture by leading astronomer Jay Tate (Spaceguard UK, Knighton, Powys, Wales), “The Science of Armageddon”. This will be followed by a cycle of structured educational activities in the Armagh Planetarium (Star Show and Exhibition Area), and the Armagh Observatory and Human Orrery (Meteorite Workshop and Human Orrery Activity). • Plenary sessions and lunch will be held in the Royal School Armagh. • The Armagh Observatory Human Orrery activity will be held outside, and so participating students and teachers are advised to bring warm clothing and rain-gear in case of inclement weather. 3. 2009 marks the United Nations International Year of Astronomy (see This is a world-wide celebration of the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s first use of a telescope for astronomical observations. 4. As part of the Schools Science Conference, there will be a prize for the best painting or drawing on any astronomical object. • Paintings or drawings should be sent by post to Dr Miruna Popescu at Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh BT61 9DG, or by e-mail as a .jpg file to, to arrive no later than Friday 24th April 2009. • Those submitting paintings or drawings should be sure to include their full contact details, and should note that their paintings and drawings will be displayed on the conference website. 5. For further information about the meeting, contact Ms Patricia McAllister, The Centre for Cross Border Studies, 39 Abbey Street, Armagh BT61 7EB, E-mail:, Tel: 028-3751-8282 (048 from the Republic). 6. 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 indicate which day — Wednesday 29th or Thursday 30th April — you would prefer to attend (we will try to accommodate you, but can offer no guarantee). 1

Information for Teachers Teachers should note the following: 1. Pupils will be divided into four Groups, each containing approximately 32 students. Each Group will be divided into eight Teams each containing 4 students. 2. No team will contain more than one student from any one school, and students from each school will be distributed across all four Groups. 3. Students are advised to bring a calculator. 4. Students will be allocated to a specific Group and Team at registration. They must stay with this Group and Team throughout the day. Each Team must nominate a ‘Team Leader’. 5. The names of the Groups and Teams are as follows: GROUPS PLANETS GALAXIES ASTRONOMERS SPACECRAFT Mercury Milky Way Aristarchus Sputnik Venus Large Magellanic Cloud Copernicus Voyager Earth Andromeda Tycho Cassini TEAMS Mars Whirlpool Galileo Hubble Jupiter Sombrero Kepler SoHO Saturn Antennae Newton Chandra Uranus Mice Halley Rosetta Neptune Spider Herschel Hinode 6. A member of the Armagh Observatory will be attached to each Group as Group Leader, and activities in the Observatory Library and the Human Orrery will be led by three members of Observatory staff. Similarly, members of the Armagh Planetarium staff will lead Groups around the Planetarium Show and Exhibition. 7. Teachers should attach themselves to a Group in order to assist in monitoring the Group and moving between activities. 2

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