Schoolchildren and Students Visiting ING
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Schoolchildren and Students Visiting ING

Schoolchildren at the JKTThroughout the years we have welcome groups of students from local or abroad schools and universities. ING can assist the organisers in planning the trip and the stay on La Palma as well as, of course, the visit to the Observatory on a best-effort basis.

Finding out about La Palma and the ING

Visiting the ING Telescopes

Observing with the 1.0-m Jacobus Kapteyn

At ING we ran a pilot project at the 1.0-m Jacobus Kapteyn Telescope (JKT): in coordination with experiensed teachers and the assistance of astronomy students, schoolchildren could use this telescope participating in research projects. At present this programme is no longer active.

The observations

The students carried out their own observing programme on the JKT on a discretionary night or participated in one of our current projects. In some special cases, and with the previous acceptance of the observer, they could join part of an observing night at the telescope. The preparation of the observations took place before leaving for La Palma. The selected students were awarded by their teachers and in some cases they passed a selection process.

The day before the observations the students stayed at the observatory's residence, together with the rest of the professional astronomers. At arrival they were shown round the Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory, the William Herschel Telescope, the Isaac Newton Telescope and the Caldera de Taburiente National Park from its highest peak. On this first day, they went to bed late after finishing the observing programme with the supervision of a professional astronomer.

On the observing day the students woke up late and in the afternoon they visited the JKT. Then they participated in the set-up of the telescope in the evening and after dinner they started the observations. Students could go to bed at any time as the astronomer could finish the observations for them. During observations the students and the astronomer talked about the physical aspects of the observed objects and participated on the reduction and analysis of the data.

On the following day the students were introduced to image reduction and they left the observatory for sea-level with the raw data. They were invited to visit our sea-level base in Santa Cruz de La Palma.

Nik SzymanekThen the images were reduced by the astronomer and passed onto amateur astronomer Nik Szymanek. Nik is an expert and world-famous for producing astonishing astronomical pictures from CCD images.

After observing

After observing they were invited to prepare a report to be posted on these web pages together with pictures of the visit and the data reduced by the support astronomer. The authors of the images are the students themselves. We also encouraged the students to make a presentation at their school or elsewhere.

Recent observations and visits carried out by the students:

  • 11 June 2000. Cornwall Schools Astronomy Project (UK). More information.
  • 7 August 2001. Cornwall Schools Astronomy Project (UK). More information.
  • 24 November 2001. La Palmita School, La Palma (Spain). More information.
  • 25 November 2001. Thomas Hardy School, Dorchester, Dorset (UK). More information.
  • 27 March 2002. La Palmita School, La Palma (Spain). Bad weather.
  • 21 July 2003. Thomas Hardy School, Dorchester, Dorset (UK). More information.

Links to similar school projects

In links related to dissemination of astronomy you will find plenty of links to similar school projects and useful information for students and teachers.

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Contact:  (Public Relations Officer)
Last modified: 13 December 2010