12 noon
Thursday 7 November 2019 - Monday 1 June 2020

Astronomy Research in Schools project

This is a Physics Research in School Environments (PRiSE) programme which offers school students the opportunity to experience authentic scientific research over a sustained period of time within their school. Students and teachers taking advantage of the programme are supported by active researchers who specialise in the field of the research projects we offer.


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We are running this programme in collaboration with Queen Mary University, it is run over the first two terms of the academic year and sign up for the following year occurs before the summer break.

Sign up is now for the academic year 2020/2021.

About our pilot astronomy project

The aim of scientific research is to expand, challenge and probe physical concepts about nature and the Universe to expand human technological and scientific understanding. Certain cognitive skills such as problem solving and logical reasoning are useful – and in some fields necessary – to understanding core concepts and ideas.

This astronomy project is aimed at A-level or equivalent physics students, but also to any science or maths student interested in software and computer programming. With the main aim of encouraging students to learn creative research and learning skills, the project also aims to inspire students to pursue their own research activities and expand on what they have learnt (either inside or outside the specific field) with online resources and sources.

The project involves using real star cluster data and simulated stellar evolutions to calculate the distances and ages of certain stars and clusters. Peripheral activities teach students how to use the main software package and begin to learn to code in Python. The software used is called Window To The Stars (WTTS), a stellar evolution software created by Dr. Robert Izzard, and the version that students will be using will be WTTS basic.

Download the windows to the stars software.

Find out more about the Physics Research in School Environments (PRiSE) programme.

Sign up

If you're interested in starting this project for the academic year 2020/2021 then please get in touch to book:

Outreach Officer
Heather Campbell
Email: h.campbell@surrey.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)1483 686410