OASES Event in Armagh: A Great Success

OASES

On Friday 18th June Armagh Observatory and Armagh Planetarium hosted a visit by 140 primary school children from six schools in Counties Armagh and Monaghan. The visit was part of the innovative OASES project, a cross-border and cross-community initiative developed by the Armagh Rhymers Educational and Cultural Organisation in collaboration with the Armagh Observatory. This project is funded through the European Union's PEACE III Programme, under the Small Grants plan, promoted by Armagh City and District Council and managed by the PEACE III Southern Cluster Partnership for the Special EU Programmes Body.

After seeing a show in the Armagh Planetarium, the children sang reconciliation and science songs and performed dances set to traditional Irish tunes in the Armagh Observatory Grounds, Human Orrery. "As astronomers, it is a privilege for us to share our 'space' with such a talented group of young people - the artists and scientists of the future", said Professor Mark Bailey, Director of the Armagh Observatory. "The theme of OASES - Over us All the Self Same Sky - emphasizes the point that we all experience or 'share' the same sky, both night and day. This is our window to the Universe, and it is so good to see young people drawn into a wider appreciation of astronomy and its inspiration - and not just in science and mathematics - at such an early age."

This visit represents the end of the first part of the OASES programme, which has so far involved six schools from Counties Armagh and Monaghan.

When asked what part of the programme they liked best, pupils said that they have most enjoyed the cross-border and cross-community aspect of it. "I liked singing and doing other activities with children from other schools", said an eight-year old boy from Our Lady's Primary School, Keady.

By taking part in the OASES project, "I learnt the order of the planets, that stars can sing and that there is a lot more out there than we think", said a nine year old girl from Mount St Catherine's School, Armagh. "We also learnt that it takes one year for the Earth to go around the Sun". P5 pupils from the Armstrong Primary School in Armagh, said that "the size of the Earth is a million times smaller than the Sun", while one added "I also learnt not to be selfish".

The OASES project is part-funded through the EU's PEACE III Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body. The Armagh Rhymers Educational and Cultural Organisation is supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. The Armagh Observatory is an astronomical research institute with a rich heritage, supported by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Miruna Popescu or Mark Bailey at the Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh, BT61 9DG; Tel: 028-3752-2928; mdpat signarm.ac.uk and mebat signarm.ac.uk

NOTES TO EDITORS:

SEUPB

The Special EU Programmes Body is a North/South Implementation Body sponsored by the Department of Finance and Personnel in Northern Ireland and the Department of Finance in Ireland. It is responsible for managing two EU structural funds Programmes PEACE III and INTERREG IVA designed to enhance cross-border co-operation, promote reconciliation and create a more peaceful and prosperous society. The programmes operate within a clearly defined area including Northern Ireland, the Border Region of Ireland and in the case of INTERREG IVA, Western Scotland.

The PEACE III Programme is worth €333 million and is aimed primarily at reinforcing progress towards a peaceful and stable society and promoting reconciliation. It focuses on helping Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland to reconcile communities and contribute towards a shared society.

For more information on the SEUPB please visit www.seupb.eu

Last Revised: 2010 June 25th