ScopeX 2018 Summary
This was the 17th ScopeX and the same general format was followed as conceived in 2002. The theme for the event was Space Weather and most of the talks in the Auditorium covered aspects related to Space Weather.
Teacher Sessions: ScopeX very much welcomed the support from NRF/SAASTA’s, Mr Msizi Kathide, who ran two Teacher Sessions focused on the curriculum subject of “Earth and beyond”. An addition was added to this presentation by Dr Pierre de Villiers on “How to build an analemmatic Sundial” and this unfortunately reduced the time available to Mr Kathide.
A number of Educators, who attended, completed and submitted surveys – these are attached as an annexure to the report. There seems to be appetite for future sessions on “Earth and Beyond” to be held at their own schools or district which can perhaps be considered by Mr Kathide /SAASTA and the ScopeX would be happy to help where needed.
Robotics demonstrations: FIRST LEGO League “INTO ORBIT” robotics demonstrations were run throughout the day. This was possible with the facilitation and support from Patricia Gouws of the UNISA Robotics Centre. Two girl teams (13 each) from Pretoria High School for Girls and Garsfontein High were escorted by two Educators and helpful parents to give demonstrations throughout the day. Many positive responses from visitors were received.
Donation of two telescopes: in support of the ScopeX objectives, two telescopes were sponsored by Jean-Pierre Grootaerd of Sterren Schitteren voor Iedereen (“SSVI”) meaning Stars Shine for Everyone.
It is an initiative by the Amateur Telescope Making Group of the Public Observatory Armand Pien in Ghent (Belgium). And is supported by the telescope maker Bresser (Germany).
These posters were displayed and http://www.ssvi.be/ provides more detail and also quotes Nelson Mandela’s “ Education is the most powerful weapon you can used to change the world”.
ScopeX was delighted to be able to host:
- the President of the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa, Case Rijsdijk. Case was the Auditorium Host for all the talks;
- Dr Pieter Kotze of SANSA who presented a talk on “Living in the shadow of a variable star, the Sun”;
- Dr Pierre de Villiers, ASSA Hermanus Centre Chair, and past President of ASSA, ran the “How to build an analemmatic sundial” demonstrations;
- A Celestron Astrophotography “ambassador”, Angus Burns from New Castle, who spoke on “Astrophotography in the urban context”;
- an internationally acclaimed photographer from Scotland, Robert Ormerod, to talk on photographing the Northern Lights. On the initiative of ScopeX team, CANON SA sponsored his overseas and local flights.
Robert had the following articles published after ScopeX:
The ScopeX Team extends sincere gratitude to DST and NRF/SAASTA for continuous support and assistance of ScopeX.