April 29, 2009

Discover the Stars at Armagh: Cross Border Schools Science Conference 2009

Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th April 2009

The second Cross-Border Schools Science Conference (‘Discover the Stars at Armagh’) took place in Armagh on 29-30 April with over 250 students aged 13-14 from 14 schools in Belfast, Dublin, Armagh, Monaghan, Keady, Banbridge, Portadown, Carrickmacross, Dundalk, Drogheda and Westmeath. The partners in this initiative are Armagh Observatory, the Centre for Cross Border Studies, Armagh Planetarium and the Royal School Armagh.

Opening the conference, the Director of the Armagh Observatory, Professor Mark Bailey, noting that 2009 was UN International Year of Astronomy (www.astronomy2009.org), said:

“These science initiatives, North and South, are designed to promote innovative projects aimed at stimulating a greater interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics among young people. Of course, we think that subjects like astronomy and mathematics are hugely interesting in their own right. But the governments on both sides of the border have bigger fish to fry, and they recognise that science and technology, and the fundamental physics and mathematics on which so much of our modern technological lifestyle depends, are essential elements of a healthy economy.”

The keynote conference speaker was Jay Tate, Director of the Spaceguard Centre in Knighton, Wales, who is one of the world’s leading experts on the risk to civilisation posed by collisions of comets and asteroids with the Earth.

See the Press Release or visit the Armagh Observatory webpage.