A group of Year 10 and 12 students were recently given a brilliant opportunity to gain first-hand insights into the fascinating world of astrophysics when research scientist Dr Mick Denton visited the College.
During the session, Dr Denton spoke about his ongoing research project involving the launch of weather balloons into the Earth’s atmosphere, equipped with data-capturing instruments. The students were shown the instruments used by his science team, demonstrating the advanced technology employed in capturing crucial atmospheric data.
The focus of the project is to analyse various environmental factors, including altitude versus temperature, ozone concentration, radiation levels, and concentrations of different gases. The goal is to discern the impact of human activities on climate change compared to the natural influences exerted by solar phenomena and the collected data will provide scientists with valuable insights.
At the end of the session, the students were invited to actively participate in the initiative by building their own data-capturing instruments for the upcoming balloon launch scheduled to take place in Finland in June.
“This is an incredible opportunity for our students to get hands-on experience in the field of astrophysics and climate science. We are really grateful to Dr Denton for the opportunity he has extended to our students to contribute to the project,” said Mr Peter White, Head of Physics.
During the upcoming launch, students will have the freedom to choose the type of instruments they want to create and the specific data they wish to collect. This unique hands-on experience will not only help them get some hands-on scientific experience, but also empower them to make meaningful contributions to ongoing research.
As part of the collaboration, participating students will have access to all the data collected during the project.
“This initiative is a brilliant way to engage the next generation of scientists and inspire them to take an active role in understanding and addressing the challenges posed by climate change,” concluded Mr White.