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Orion laser brings ‘science to life’

AWE inspired young minds when our scientists recently hosted pupils from across Berkshire and Hampshire schools to a tour of the world-leading and state-of-the-art Orion laser facility at Aldermaston.

Fourteen pupils won the visit to Orion as the prize for reaching first place in two separate AWE sponsored events held in the summer. The first involved a series of ‘technical’ master classes with the Royal Institution in which pupils from Costello School, Kendrick School and Park House School participated.

The second involved pupils from St Gabriel’s School winning the ‘AWE Challenge’ set at the TeenTech event in Basingstoke.

AWE Chief Scientist, Professor Andrew Randewich, said: “AWE actively works with local schools to foster and inspire an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) as part of our commitment to the national skills agenda.”
“It’s great to see the future generation so well engaged in taking up a strong interest in science and engineering.”

All the pupils from the schools accompanied by three teachers enjoyed the opportunity to celebrate the International Year of Light 2015 by touring the laser and seeing the exciting physics and laser science that goes on in Orion.

During the visit, pupils gained an insight of how Orion can recreate temperatures found at the centre of the Sun and help to understand how the inside of giant planets like Jupiter work.

St Gabriel’s teacher, Helen Rayner, said: “I really feel that the girls got an impression of just how amazing a facility Orion is. It also showed how some of the concepts they study are applied, such as efficiency, waves and lenses. We particularly liked the welcome on the electronic display!”
For help with physics, pupils and teachers can download resources from the new AWE AWEsome Education Zone at www.awe.co.uk

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