Top solar scientist set to put bright sparks to the test

PUBLISHED: 08:21 02 July 2014 | UPDATED: 08:21 02 July 2014

Wilburton's Dr Helen Mason OBE

Wilburton's Dr Helen Mason OBE

© Michael Cockerham 2014

Ely College's year 9 triple-science students will have their sunny dispositions tested on Friday at a special Media Space Day.

The event, made possible thanks to funding from the Royal Institution, will be led by Wilburton’s Dr Helen Mason, a solar physicist from the University of Cambridge.

She will teach students about the very latest science of the sun, before setting them the task of communicating the excitement of that science to the general public via a range of different media.

Their work will be sent to a range of science journals and will feature at the International Astronautical Congress in Toronto, Canada.

Dr Mason was made an OBE in this year’s Queen’s birthday honours for her work in science and science communication.

Science teacher Melanie Ellis, who organised the college’s participation at the event, said: “We are delighted to welcome Dr Mason to the school, and to participate in such an exciting programme.

“Our students have been raring to go ever since we told them about the day, and solar science has been a feature of many questions over the last few weeks. “I am certain that this event will have a lasting impact on many of them, and will inspire their future choices about further study and work.”

Venture Thinking, the body which helped organise the event, has been working with the UK Space Agency and the Science Technology Facilities Council on Media Space projects for over eight years.

Students have created magazines, iBooks, and films during previous projects.

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