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Dudgeon supports STEM engagement activities in Norfolk

A grant from the Dudgeon Community Fund will enable Reepham High School to make greater use of its observatory

Posted by Julian Owen | March 17, 2018 | School life

Norfolk's Reepham High School is set to enjoy increased use of its observatory, thanks to a grant from the Dudgeon Community Fund. The move will not only support student STEM studies, but enable the local community to gain a greater understanding of the night sky in a county famed for its big skies. 

The school stages community Stargazing evenings at its observatory three times a year, and the STEM teaching and support team looks to keep its activities innovative by doing something different each time.

"Activities such as Stargazing evenings enable us to engage parents, pupils and members of the wider community in STEM subjects outside of the curriculum, and on a clear evening we can expect to welcome up to 80 guests to the observatory," said Sarah Hookway, Head of Physics at Reepham High School.

"Our first event in 2018 will be on Monday 19 March, when there will be an observatory open evening with a lecture given by Dr Helen Mason, a solar physicist from Cambridge University."

The grant will be used to stage more activities and fund the hire of a planetarium for such events. It will also pay the expenses associated with visiting speakers, and help meet the costs associated with telescope maintenance, including luminising the telescope mirror.

The STEM curriculum at Reepham High School includes astrophysics being taught to all year 7 pupils, GCSE pupils taking triple science, and A Level physics students. In 2016, students at the school were among those who took part in a conversation with astronaut Tim Peake during his time on the International Space Station.

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