Dudgeon community grant supports observatory and high school studies

A grant from the Dudgeon Community Fund will enable Reepham High School to make greater use of its observatory within the community and support student science studies.

The school stages community Stargazing evenings at its observatory three times a year, and the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teaching and support team is keen to keep its activities innovative by doing something different each time.
“Activities such as Stargazing evenings enable us to engage parents, pupils and members of the wider community in STEM subjects outside of the curriculum, and on a clear evening we can expect to welcome up to 80 guests to the observatory,” said Sarah Hookway, head of physics at Reepham High School.
“Our first event in 2018 will be held on Monday 19 March when there will be an observatory open evening with a lecture given by Dr Helen Mason, a solar physicist from Cambridge University.” (See Upcoming Events.)
Emil Orderud, plant manager at the Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm, said: “We are pleased to be able to provide a grant from the Dudgeon Community Fund to support the innovative approach taken to STEM studies and awareness at Reepham High School.
“It is so important to the UK economy, and its renewable energy industry, that we encourage today’s STEM students to become tomorrow’s engineers.”
The grant will be used to stage more activities and will fund the hire of a planetarium for such events.It will also pay the expenses associated with visiting speakers, as well as helping to meet the costs associated with telescope maintenance, including luminising the telescope mirror.
The STEM curriculum at Reepham High School includes astrophysics being taught to all Year 7 pupils, GCSE pupils taking “triple science” and A Level physics students.
In 2016 students at Reepham High School were among those who took part in a conversation with astronaut Tim Peake during his time on the International Space Station.
The 402 MW Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm, operated by Statoil, is located some 32 km off the coast of Cromer in North Norfolk and provides sufficient electricity to power 410,000 UK homes.
Its contribution of £100,000 each year to the Dudgeon Community Fund is now used to support its STEM Programme for the benefit of secondary schools in the Great Yarmouth, North Norfolk and Breckland districts of Norfolk.

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