Abingdon School's, Abingdon Science Partnership, ASP, has this term launched an after school GCSE Astronomy course, with pupils from local senior schools in Abingdon: Larkmead, Fitzharrys and John Mason joining pupils from Abingdon School. The enthusiastic group meets weekly, in the Yang Science Centre, and is beginning to get to grips with the first topic in the course, which is The Earth, The Moon and The Sun.
So far they have learnt about the characteristics of the Earth as a planet and have been investigating the effects of the atmosphere on astronomical observations. Over the next two years they will cover topics on the Solar System, Stars and Galaxies and Cosmology. They will also carry out two, short observing activities, either using their own telescopes or online access to educational, robotic telescopes through organisations such as the Faulkes Telescope Project and the National Schools Observatory.
The students have also been joined by a teacher from Larkmead, Laura Scarff, who decided to attend the classes and to take the GCSE exam at the end.
Speaking about the course Laura said,
"I've always been interested in astronomy but have never had the opportunity to study it so I jumped at the chance to get involved."