The National Schools Observatory: Fascination with Space fires young scientific careers

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LJMU owns and operates the largest robotic telescope in the world on La Palma, Canary Islands.

Because it is fully robotic it does not need to be staffed, and its observations are uploaded to a server which can be accessed by anyone with permission anywhere in the world at any time.

Young people all over the world use it through the National Schools' Observatory and the impact of this on their education and aspiration is the subject of research led by Professor Andy Newsam at LJMU’s Astrophysics Research Institute.

“By allowing schoolchildren to use the telescope, to gather their own data and do their own science, we are taking their lessons to another level.

“There is a crisis of interest in science and technology, particularly if you come from certain social backgrounds and with the Observatory we want to try to change that.”

Independent evaluation shows that children who use the Observatory and work alongside professional astronomers are more confident that they too can have a career in science and technology.

Academics

Professor Andy Newsam