Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Year 9 Visits the Stardome

On Friday we took all of Year 9 off to Cornwall Park to visit the Stardome. 

Students got to walk to the top of the volcano and look around. Students weren't looking forward to the big walk up the hill, but there was a sense of achievement and success when they reached the top and were able to look around!   

We then returned to the Stardome for a show on the sky screen and a talk.  My group watched a show called 'Two Pieces of Glass' about the history of the telescope and how far it has developed with todays technology. It also taught us about the discoveries that telescopes have helped with.

This is a beautiful video of the night skies from a mountain in Spain for any students who were amazed by how big our universe is. 

After the show students got to explore the different activities in the foyer of the Stardome. There was a scale that measured their mass and calculated how much they would weigh on different planets and stars (billions of kgs on a neutron star!), real space suits and telescopes, a rolling-ball demonstration of gravity and a sphere that showed what the different planets look as they rotate, among other things. 

We then went and listened to a talk about how much fuel and speed space shuttles need to get up into outer space! One thing I remember is that at the very start of a space shuttle launch, by the time the back of the space ship has reached the point where the front of the space shuttle was (by the time it has travelled its own length) the shuttle is already travelling at 100km an hour! Students in my group were especially amazed to see a video by Chris Hadfield about how astronauts brush their teeth in space!  

We finished the day with some free time at lunch - I think the rugby game that happened on the field involved most of the boys in Year 9!

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