Cross Border Schools Science Conference


The Cross-Border Schools Science Conference, on Thursday 5th and Friday 6th May 2011, aims to bring together some 250 students (125 on each day) aged 13 to 14 (Key Stage 3) from 10 or more schools on both sides of the Border to learn about astronomy and related sciences and mathematics, using the facilities of the Armagh Observatory and the Armagh Planetarium, a combination on the same site unique on the island of Ireland.

Each day, around 130 students will participate in a programme of activities lasting from approximately 09.30am to 2.30pm. This will comprise a plenary lecture by a leading astronomer, Robert Walsh (University of Central Lancashire), on the subject of "The Sun and Space Weather", followed by cycle of structured educational activities in the Armagh Planetarium (Exhibition Area and Show), and outside on the Observatory's Human Orrery. Plenary sessions and lunch will be held in the Royal School Armagh.

Each school is being invited to send a class of 25 students plus two teachers (the teachers are expected to accompany student teams throughout the conference). The conference will be free to students and teachers. All are asked to bring a packed lunch with them. Facilities for eating lunch will be provided by the Royal School Armagh. Students are advised to bring rain-gear since at least one of the activities will be outside.

There will also be a prize for the best painting or drawing on the subject of "Weather in the Solar System". For example, this could illustrate the influence of solar activity on the Earth and its weather, or an unusual or violent weather event on Earth or another planet. Submissions should be sent by post to Professor Mark Bailey at Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh BT61 9DG, to arrive before Friday 22nd April. The winning paintings will be exhibited on the conference website.

This will be the third Cross-Border Schools Science Conference; the first two very successful events took place in March 2007 and April 2009 (see links). Teachers' comments on an evaluation of those conferences included: "Great day had by all"; "Pupils enjoyed the day. It was a very well organized event"; A great day out, well worthwhile. Can we please have another one like that?"; "The arrangements for the day were excellent"; "The day was very well organized and a great success. The pupils thoroughly enjoyed themselves."

Schools interested in participating in this conference are advised to contact the conference organizer, Patricia McAllister, by Friday 1st April 2011 at the very latest. There are a limited number of places at this conference, so we advise immediate booking (when 10 schools have registered we will take no more). Be sure to mark which day - Thursday 5th or Friday 6th May - you would prefer to attend (we will try to accommodate you but can offer no guarantee). Ms McAllister can be contacted at 028 (048 from the Republic of Ireland) 3751-8282 or at p.mcallisterat

See also:
Letter to Schools - PDF
Plenary Lecture - PDF
Programme - PDF
Centre for Cross Border Studies
Cross Border Schools Science Conference 2007
Cross Border Schools Science Conference 2009

Last Revised: 2011 May 3rd