Visit from NASA Scientists

NASA1On Wednesday 6th January we were delighted to welcome Dr Carly Howett and Jon Pinea, NASA Scientists, who gave a presentation to Tabor Academy students during the day and then two presentations after school as a fundraising event for Blackwater West District Guides and Rangers. Dr Howett was raised in Braintree and still has close family ties to the area; she was also a member of the district Rangers group as a child. She attended Great Bradfords Infant and Junior School and studied at Essex University before moving to the University of Oxford to complete a PhD. Carly now lives in Colorado with her husband Jon Pineau who is operations lead on Rosetta’s Alice instrument.

Carly shared the fascinating revelations that the New Horizons mission revealed about Pluto and its moons, as well as talking about where a science education could take the students of Tabor Academy.

At the end of the presentation students took the opportunity to ask questions about her work. Carly was impressed with the students’ attention and the great questions they asked.

“The NASA talk was very interesting and we learnt lots about NASA and our solar system and how before the mission we knew relatively little about Pluto and its moons.” Archie, Year 8

“I thought that the presentation was great and it definitely increased my knowledge about space and NASA. I am now considering working in astronomy.” Olivia, Year 9

NASA2Both the after school events were well attended. The earlier talk was interactive with plenty of audience participation aimed at children. There were many students attending from the local primary schools including Lyons Hall, Stisted, and St Michaels.

The talk given later that evening had an additional speaker, Mr Jerram of E2V, to explain some of the technology that was developed in Chelmsford and used on the NASA space missions. Mr Jerram is the father of a former Tabor Academy pupil.

A number of Tabor students, past and present, attended as members of the audience, Guides and Rangers. We are sure that it will have opened their eyes to the potential careers available to those studying science and that the sky really is the limit for those willing to work hard. Carly and Jon will feature in the BBC 2 programme ‘Back 2 Earth’ as part of their ‘Stargazing Live’ programme presented by Dara O’Briain and Brian Cox – the first programme is on air tomorrow, Tuesday, 12th January at 10.00pm.

Mr Jeffrey, Science Department & Mr Coulson, IT Department