Astronomy Club Easter Lecture
With suspended planets, helium balloons, a timeline and hydroponics display, the Thomas Arnold Hall was transformed on Monday 20th April as the Warminster School Astronomy Club presented their Easter lecture, Exploring the Solar System, to a full house. Mrs Catherine Wilson, Physics and Astronomy teacher, welcomed everyone before handing over to the ten members of the Astronomy Club who ran the lecture.
Compèred by Emily Storey Walker (Lower Sixth), the club presented a brief history of flight featuring a moving model of Leonardo da Vinci's helicopter, built and operated by Michael Stadelmaier (Upper Sixth). Other demonstrations included a rocket; hot and cold volcanoes; modelling the Martian probe landings; and the melting Venus spacecraft, Venera VI.
Pupils from the Prep School were enthusiastic participants, helping with the demonstrations and setting up experiments in the Hydroponics Challenge, how to grow plants in space. Presentations also included the Wright brothers' first flight; cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin's orbit in Vostok 1 as the first man in space; the NASA Apollo missions and first Moon landing; living on board the International Space Station; and sending robotic probes to the outer reaches of the Solar System. One of the most popular features was the interview with the Russian speaking 'cosmonaut' (Fjodor Zadonski, Upper Sixth) with live questions about life in space translated into Russian and back into English by Paulius Mickevicius (Upper Sixth) for the audience. The 'cosmonaut' stayed after his presentation to sign copies of the programme for some of the audience.
The Astronomy Club has gone from strength to strength over the last two years and has been championed by Adrian Duly (Upper Sixth), who reinstated the club after a five-year break. He leaves Warminster School this year and hopes to pursue his interests in computing and robotics at university in September. The other presenters in their final year at Warminster were Paulius Mickevicius, Michelle Addae-Kumi, Michael Stadelmaier and Fjodor Zadonski, all whom have been an asset to the Astronomy Club and contributed many hours of work to the success of the club. The other presenters were Michael Addae-Kumi (Year 11), Mitchell Betts (Year 11), Augusta Schultz-Utermoehl (Lower Sixth), James Carley (Year 9) and narrator Emily Storey Walker, who coordinated the script and presentations. Mrs Wilson made a special vote of thanks to the science technicians and, in particular, Mrs Helen Brown for her continued hard work and innovation with the Astronomy Club that made this event so successful.