Saturday 18 June 2011

Meeting Sir Patrick Moore

Sir Patrick Moore & Me, at his garden party.
I was lucky enough to attend a garden party at Sir Patrick Moores house, a few weekends ago :). The party was a fundraising event to send students from an afterschool science STEMclub at Cantell Maths and Computing College in Southampton  to NASA in the US of A. It was a great success the weather was lovely and Sir Patrick seemed rather cheerful. He wished me luck with my PhD which I thought was amazingly cool, and alot of money was raised, so hopefully the kids will have no problem getting to NASA. I have been lucky enough to go to the Kennedy Space centre myself a few years ago, it really was awesome. Discovery was on the launchpad when I was there :) Didnt see the launch though, I did however see alot of crocodiles at the centre, which was un-expected, and I have told the STEM kids this and hopefully they will be weary of them crocs. (If Steve Irwin has taught me nothing else, it is that crocs are to be taken seriously, and very probably feared, anyway I digress...).

I have worked for over 3 years with this Year 9 STEM club. The first 2 projects were on Aliens and life in our universe, this project was great and the end of the project I presented the kids with a gift that allowed them to send their own message into space. The message they decided on was  'Welcome to earth we make nice tea', which I thought was a nice message, and very English, i do hope it was Yorkshire Gold tea we will be giving those aliens mind, as only the best will do..even for none humans.... The most recent project I devised was a galaxy project which involves the students using GalaxyZoo and various worksheets to understand the different types of galaxies which exist. At the end of the project the team present their work to  their classmates, teachers and other academics. The students talk was very good and at the end of the project the students (girls) revealed how their work has made them realise the 'vastness of space', they were shocked at how big the universe is and all the things it is comprised of and , and I assume that now, like me, they consequently feel very insignificant in comparison to the universe.

When offered various science projects,  based on Galaxies, Chemistry of the ISS, exercise bikes that power mobile discos and sound vibration projects do only girls pick the one on Galaxies?

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