Students at James Calvert Spence College enjooyed stargazing from the comfort of their school halls this week, thanks to a visit from Kielder Observatory’s portable planetarium.
As part of science classes, Year 5 and 6 pupils from South Avenue, Year 7 and 8 students at Acklington Road and Year 4 pupils from Amble First school, learned about stars and their constellations and had the opportunity to handle real space rocks and meteorites.
The stargazing classes also featured an inflatable dome, which uses special computer software to allow students to watch the changing sky up close.
Students were given a fast-track introduction to astronomy and related scientific topics. They learned about constellations, explored the mythology around stars and talked about issues such as light pollution and its impact on our ability to see the night sky.
“It shows you the sun, stars and planets and the Milky Way and you can zoom in really fast,” said one Year 5 pupil after a visit to the planetarium at JCSC’s South Avenue site.
“I wish I had it up above my bed!” another commented.
Janice Bailey, Director of Science at James Calvert Spence College, said:
“We feel very privileged at JCSC to have hosted this unique visit from the portable planetarium and Kielder Observatory staff. Being able to look at objects up close and pose questions to experts really helped to spark students’ scientific curiosity.
“We know that showing the impact of science on the ‘real world’ actively engages children to learn. It was fantastic to see the children asking lots of questions and discussing important topics that we will now go on to explore further in our science lessons.”