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Canning Town students to launch iBook on sun at Science Museum

15:45 03 March 2014

The students from Eastlea Community School visited Cambridge as part of their research into the book Picture: Richard Healey

The students from Eastlea Community School visited Cambridge as part of their research into the book Picture: Richard Healey

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Students from Eastlea Community School will be launching a free iBook on the sun as part of a festival marking national astronomy week and international women’s day

The teenagers will be launching A Big Ball of Fire – featuring coronas, cupcakes and creative science communication at the Science Museum in London on Friday. It is part of the Beyond Earth festival in which the museum is celebrating space scientists for International Women’s Day on March 7.

The students began the project in March 2013 and identified reader interests and researched the sort of questions about solar physics they would pose.

They visited the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge to research solar physics, and to meet and interview astronomy and astrophysics students who shared tips for future study. They also had a chance to create solar flares, observe the Sun, and see sunspots for themselves.

Dr. Helen Mason, from Cambridge University and the Sun|Trek project, Professor Carolin Crawford from the Institute of Astronomy Cambridge and Dr Lucie Green from Mullard Space Science Laboratory answered their questions.

The result is an interactive book filled with illustrations and images, videos, quizzes and fun craft activities including Sun themed cupcakes to inspire interest about the Sun. The book also includes interviews with a range of women scientists from post graduate students through to Professors.

Chinye Jibunoh, Principal of Eastlea Community School said: “As a Scientist, I think this is a fantastic opportunity for our students. It makes me so proud to see how enthused the students are. Science is fun and interesting. This books helps to spread that message.

Yvonne Winkelman, Vice Principal of Eastlea Community School said: “The project was terrific and gave the students new insights into the work of scientists and the Sun. The students had great fun and their book makes science enjoyable and engaging. They particularly enjoyed the opportunity to visit Cambridge University.”

The book will be formally launched at the Beyond Earth festival, March 7-9, at the Science Museum on March 7 2014 to coincide with National Astronomy Week and International Women’s Day.

National Astronomy Weeks run approximately every 5 or 6 years and they are usually linked with important astronomy events. The date of March 1 – 8 this year was chosen for the next Astronomy Week because Jupiter will be at its highest in the skies for many years to come and so will be clearly visible in the southern sky in the early evening in the UK.

British astronomers and local organisations will be offer opportunities all over the UK to view the giant planet. Both professional and amateur astronomers as well as organisations have been arranging events and activities in locations all over the country, giving members of the public of all ages, opportunities to get involved.

Over 175 events are taking place across the UK. For details of events taking place near you and/or for more information visit astronomyweek.org.uk or email: naw2014@the-observatory.org.

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