SELB Schools Cluster Programme Show

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The SELB Schools Cluster Programme is an innovative learning strategy developed by the Armagh Rhymers in collaboration with the Armagh Observatory to teach children science and the arts in a new and fun way. During this programme, children from seven schools in Armagh have learnt astronomy through storytelling and music; and creative writing and music through science and astronomy.

On Tuesday 23 February 2010, at St Brigid's High School in Armagh, these talented pupils have put together a show that took the audience on an unforgettable trip through our solar system.

The show was opened by Kevin Devlin, Principal of St Patrick's School Armagh. The children then told the audience of families and friends science facts they have learnt from Dr Miruna Popescu, astronomer and educator from Armagh Observatory. They performed a magical story that was specially developed for them by one of Ireland’s best story tellers: Steve Lally. They sang songs that two of the most famous musicians in Ireland have taught them: Peter Shortall and Tom Sweeney. All this was performed under the professional direction of one of the most talented artists in Ireland: Dara Vallely. 

At the end of the show, Peter Gildea, Principal of Mount St Catherine's School Armagh, introduced a special guest: Dr David Asher, astronomer at Armagh Observatory. Dr Asher uses telescopes to look for asteroids and comets (he has discovered 10 asteroids while working in Australia). About ten years ago, while he was working in Japan, he has became one of the most famous astronomers in the world, as he could tell people when to look out for very bright shooting stars. In honour of his achievements, Dr Asher has had an asteroid named after him.

Dr David Asher thanked the children for presenting the amazing astronomical facts, for telling the stories of the planets with the magnificent shadow puppet characters, and for singing the songs about stars.  Dr Asher said: "The children told the stories so beautifully that it reminded me there is something magical out there in space, and that this is why me and other astronomers want to study the universe."

Schools involved:

Armagh Observatory - Astronomy Education