Lorne House in Craigavad was the focus of a lot of study over the weekend. Twenty GCSE Astronomy pupils took time to carry out research for the first of their Controlled Assessment tasks, which involves drawing at least three constellations. The girls also have to estimate the magnitude of the brightest stars in each constellation, noting their colours.
We had an excellent talk on Friday evening, 6 December, by Mr Barry Loane from the Irish Astronomical Association. The girls’ found Barry’s teaching to be full of the detail they needed to select the constellations they will study and early on Saturday morning they began to create an outline of a plan for their task. Five of last years’ GCSE Astronomers came down to Lorne to help with teaching and our thanks go to Amy, Emma, Bethany, Daisy and Jessica for giving up their Saturday morning!
There were many highlights of the weekend, but special mention must go to Amber’s fantastic Constellations cake! Also the brilliant ‘moonsiacs’ the girls produced on Saturday night. The main highlight of course was when the clouds parted just in time to allow us to observe many of the constellations we had been studying over the weekend and the girls were able to recognise Casseiopeia, Taurus (including the lovely orange star Aldebaran and the Pleiades), the Great Square of Pegasus – and even the planet Jupiter!
Our thanks to Mrs Monroe and Mrs Edwards, who stayed overnight. No Astronomy weekend is complete without the ‘Games Captains’ – Mr Dorman and Mr Barr; empire building was a skill many girls acquired on Saturday afternoon!
The girls left Lorne with a lot more astronomical knowledge than when they arrived – the sign of a good study weekend.