Armagh Planetarium offers over 850 science books just in time for Christmas – Armagh I


Cormac and Oscar from Campbell College Junior School with Education Minister Michelle McIlveen and AOP Professor Michael Burton.

The staff at Armagh Observatory and Planetarium (AOP) have designed and written a brand new science book for kids just in time for Christmas.

The ‘Big Book of Experiments and Bright Ideas’ was inspired by the success of the Planetarium’s online ‘Science @ Home’ program, which the AOP introduced during the lockdown to keep the public informed about the world of science .

Seeing so many aspiring young scientists and their families performing science experiments in their homes during the lockdown, the AOP team realized the potential of bringing together easily accessible information into one enjoyable book to create a useful resource for accessing science in a fun and practical way.

One copy of the “Big Book of Experiments and Brilliant Ideas” will be sent to every elementary school in the province, approximately 850 copies, including one copy to all P7 students in local schools in Armagh.

Education Minister Michelle McIlveen joined some lucky Campbell College students who got a glimpse of the new book at a special event at the Planetarium last week, ahead of the book’s official launch.

In the Brightly Illustrated Science Book, it features experiments with easy DIY instructions, insightful walkthrough videos, ‘did you know’ facts and more, bringing out the scientist in you from the comfort of your classroom or your home.

There are dozens of fun tasks to try out, such as making your own moon sand, crafting your own 3D planets, and producing your own intergalactic alien slime.

Education Officer Ria Mee, Armagh Observatory & Planetarium, said: “Our mission at AOP is to conduct front-line astronomical research and make science accessible and easy to understand for everyone. the world through education.

“During the pandemic we started with a few experimental videos to keep people engaged and the ‘Science @ Home’ series has grown in popularity.”

She added: “It included online events with our research staff and other famous astronomers, virtual stargazing sessions and the fun part… try at home science experiments!

“We are delighted that this book has been produced and that it is now accessible to all elementary school children. We hope that children will be inspired to embark on a scientific future and maybe even try a work experience with us. “

The “Big Book of Brilliant Ideas and Experiences” will hit schools across the country over the next week, in time for Christmas.

This scientific book was funded by a Spark Award from the Science & Technology Facility Council (STFC) and supported by the Department for Communities. Copies will also be available for purchase at the Planetarium Gift Shop.

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Arline J. Mercier