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Durham University

Durham University News

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Inspiring the next generation of space scientists

(14 May 2021)

Our students and staff play a key role in delivering our outreach activities

We’re inspiring the next generation of astronomers and cosmologists to aim for the stars!

Our research and expertise shapes a number of outreach activities, delivered by our students and staff, to encourage young people to get involved in science.

From supercomputer simulations to art projects, we’re proud to support the excellent work of schools in fostering a love of learning in children. So far we’ve trained over 2,100 young people from 145 schools and community organisations across North East England to be Science Ambassadors.

Summer Science

We’ll be taking the work of the EAGLE Project to the virtual Royal Society Summer Science 2021 exhibition where young people will learn how to simulate galaxy formation and how the universe formed.

Thousands of young people have visited Celebrate Science – our annual event showcasing the fantastic work of all our amazing science subjects - over its ten years.

While Covid-19 brought a temporary halt to our face-to-face festival we’ve been determined to keep the show on the road. “Celebrate Science at Home” offers a number of activities to try at home including a stargazing guide to the night sky across all four seasons.

Exploring the universe

We’ve worked with teenagers to develop and pitch space-based business ideas in foreign languages.

And we’ve helped turn young people’s fascination for space into stunning artwork like Changing Cosmic Perceptions: An exploration of our universe, produced by primary school-age children.

The artwork sits proudly on the wall of our Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics and is the children’s interpretation of fundamental questions about the beginnings and ultimate fate of the universe.

We’ll be following this up with a new creative digital project for primary schools.

Pupils will be challenged to visualise the experience of space travel and creating a new life on a planet like Mars, through art, creative writing, music and even computer animation.

And we continue to work with partners like The Ogden Trust to promote the teaching and learning of physics.

Watch this space!

Find out more

  • Former Durham PhD student Dr Jacob Kegerreis, who’s about to start work at NASA, talks about science outreach and crashing planets together inside a supercomputer!
  • Learn more about the EAGLE Project a huge computer simulation aimed at understanding how galaxies form and evolve.