Imperial's inflatable planetarium made its debut appearance as Imperial took part in Creative Quarter 2015.
Visiting school students were given a guided tour of the night sky by Jose Teixeira-Monteiro from the College’s Outreach team, who showed them stars and constellations that are usually obscured by light pollution in a modern city.
The planetarium, which was installed in the College’s Main Entrance on Friday 13 November, also allowed students to get a close up of the Martian landscape and to see what it would look like to gaze up at the sky from our neighbouring planet.
Creative Quarter is an annual event in South Kensington which offers young people the chance to explore the latest developments in the creative industries and gives an overview of career paths in art, science, design, technology, music and drama.
This year’s event featured talks, workshops and demonstrations from leading science and art institutions across South Kensington. Alongside Imperial, the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, the V&A and the Institut français were among those to take part.
17 year old Floriane Fidegnon, a student at Ursuline Academy, was among the students to visit the planetarium. She said: “It was great to have the opportunity to learn about the stars and planets in such a visual way. Seeing it for yourself really brings to life what you read about in textbooks.”
Talks and demonstrations were also held throughout the day at the College to give young people an insight into science careers. Dr Roberto Trotta, an astrophysicist from the Department of Physics, explored the mysteries behind the dark side of the Universe using only the most common thousand words in the English language, while mathematician Kevin Buzzard took the audience on an interactive and visual journey of numbers in a talk entitled ‘solving equations by drawing pictures’,
Later in the day, research postgraduate student Jess Wade explained what it was like to be a nanoscientist, while Dr Jenna Stevens-Smith gave insights into life as a bioengineer.
Annalisa Alexander, Head of Outreach and Widening Participation, said: “It was fantastic to collaborate with our neighbouring institutions in South Kensington on such a wide range of exciting activities for Creative Quarter. I was heartened to see so many enthusiastic young people learning, exploring, and showing their creative side today.
We were particularly excited to be using our new inflatable planetarium for the very first time - it is hard not to be inspired when you’re staring at the stars. I hope that we’ll be seeing some of our visitors back in a few years’ time as Imperial students.”
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Communications and Public Affairs
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