Astronomy Trip to Kielder – epic fail?
Dense cloud cover, fog and mist prevented Y11 students from seeing a single star, moon, planet, galaxy or nebula on a recent trip to Kielder Observatory, proud home to some of the darkest skies in Europe.
Due to the likelihood of inclement weather, trip organiser Mr Milson, ensured students were kept busy with a range of activities including archery, shelter building, cooking campfire doughnuts and hiking. Both Sam Crerar and Helen showed some superb archery skills with Helen pulling off the incredible feat of hitting dead centre with one of her arrows.
The trip was run concurrently with Y10 students from Fulford School, an alliance made possible through generous funding from the Ogden Trust York Partnership. Staff from both schools were delighted to see how quickly the students mixed with each other. A rivalry over which school could complete the hike the quickest saw teachers gasping for breath. Social media details were swapped and already a Facebook group has been started to maintain contact.
Undoubtedly the highlight of the trip was the three hour session hosted at the Observatory. Students from both schools listened intently as experts gave a range of talks on star formation, the future of astronomy and the search for extra-terrestrial life. One lucky student even got the once in a lifetime opportunity to hold a small piece of Mars.
Astronomy teacher, Mr Milson, paid tribute to both students and staff when he said ‘This really was an outstanding experience for colleagues and students alike. The warm welcome shown to us by Kielder Observatory was only surpassed by the quality of the talks and demonstrations they gave.’ Y11 student
Tom Butcher says ‘This trip was the best I have ever been on and I am now more
determined than ever to look into careers related to Astronomy’.
Epic fail? No way!