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A grant from the Dudgeon Community Fund will enable Reepham High School to make greater use of its Observatory, supporting student STEM studies and enabling the local community to gain a greater understanding of the night sky in a county that is famed for its ‘big skies'.
The school stages community Stargazing evenings at its Observatory three times a year, and the STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics] teaching and support team is keen to keep its activities innovative by doing something different each time.
Sarah Hookway, Head of Physics at Reepham High School, Said:
"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. Our first event in 2018 will be held 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."
Emil Orderud, Plant Manager at the Dudgeon Offshore Wind, Farm said:
"We are very pleased to be able to provide a grant from the Dudgeon Community Fund to support the innovative approach taken to STEM studies and awareness at Reepham High School. It is so important to the UK economy, and its renewable energy industry, that we encourage today's STEM students to become tomorrow's engineers."
The grant will be used to stage more activities and will fund the hire of a planetarium for such events. It will also pay the expenses associated with visiting speakers as well as helping to 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 Reepham High 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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