Tuesday 31st March 2009 by C. Freeman
Brooke Weston has received a telescope from the Society for Popular Astronomy; one of a thousand being donated to secondary schools across the country. It will not only give students a taste of stargazing, it also marks the International Year of Astronomy, celebrating 400 years since Galileo first used a telescope to look at the Moon, and 40 years since the first Moon landing.
Brooke Weston had to apply for one of the telescopes, which was funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council, by documenting how it will be used in lessons: In year 10 currently one of the physics Can Do tasks involves students building their own telescopes so the new addition will provide a real-life starting point. Younger students may observe changes in the moon, while the Sixth Formers can use it in their extended studies. Brooke Weston hopes to link up with a local astronomer who will be able to provide expert advice to inspire the students.
The 700mm high quality refractor telescope comes complete with a DVD from the Royal Astronomical Society explaining how to use it and interesting astronomic features to look out for.
Mr Tiktin, who submitted the application, said: 'We are really pleased to have been one of the schools chosen for the free telescope. As it is the International Year of Astronomy, the Society for Popular Astronomy have designated two weeks where all the schools in the country will observe the moon and send in information. This telescope will not only help with that but will also prove useful for all the year groups and may even be a feature of some of the Masterclasses when students from other schools will be able to use it as well.'