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News | 30th May 2019
 

Apollo 11 inspires pupils

 
 
 

PUPILS at Langholm Academy looked to the stars during science week and were enthused by an astronomer and photographer.
The S1 class learned about all aspects of science and, in particular, astro-physics to mark the Apollo 11 landing 50 years ago on July 20.
On Monday they took part in coding workshops where they learned how to use a microbit, a system used to ensure a code runs correctly before downloading it.
On Tuesday pupils were treated to a fascinating talk at assembly by ex-pupil, and now astronomer, Hayden Goodfellow, about his own education and experience, along with information about Neil Armstrong when he visited Langholm in 1972.
Hayden was joined by Sam Cornwell, a photography teacher at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh and expert camera builder who taught the pupils how to build a pinhole camera.
The camera is designed and built to capture extreme time exposure photos which take anything from 24 hours to many months to develop.
Sam showed them examples of photos taken over a long period of time to give them an idea of what the finished result should look like using special photographic paper.
Sam explained how it reacted to the sun by placing a variety of items on the paper on a sunny windowsill for five minutes and when the items were removed, they left the shaded image.
Sam gave each pupil a tin can and asked them to cover it with a sticky label. One by one, using a Pillerdrill, they drilled a pinhole using the 4mm drillbit into the middle of the can.
When the pupils held up the can to the light, they could make out the tiny hole. Using a sheet of photographic paper, they rolled it to fit inside the can sticky side up. He explained the differences in each side of the paper and which side should face the inside of the can to create the wavelength.
Kikstarter
Sam raised £25,000 from Kikstarter, the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects, to create the product and deliver the workshop in schools.
Using the canning machine, the pupils sealed their cans with a can opener ready to attach to somewhere secure and out of reach at home.
They were given two 500mm-long cable ties to help secure the can to their chosen surface.
Sam explained about the summer solstice when the sun is at its highest in the sky and how it’s a good time for the cans to be fixed to a secure place outside, either to a roan pipe, shed or tree, somewhere it would be safe and secure for the next two months.
The pupils will take their cameras home at the end of term and return at the end of August to be opened and viewed.
Calum Ritchie said: “The assembly was interesting and had a lot of facts about the space race and how Neil Armstrong was the first man on the moon.”
Sadie Cropper said: “We were shown how to get our name to appear on the little coding block and then made it say many different words, even sentences. Afterwards, we had to make two bulbs light up and make them flash on and off.”
Science Week was supported by the Stevenson Trust and facilitated by the Langholm Initiative.

 
 
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