Badington House School

A Giant Leap for Astronomy at Sherborne Girls

Published Thursday 3rd of April 2014 10:33:02 AM

A facility has opened at Sherborne Girls to provide a new stairway to the stars. The School now has an astronomy room just below its small observatory in its former Science building. Transformed from a spider-filled store room, the now warm and comfortable space, with seating for up to 16, will enable every student to use the School's telescope at least once whilst at School, instead of just the few members of the Astronomy Club as before.

The room has been dedicated to astronomer Mervyn Ellison (1909 1963), Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society (FRAS) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE). Acclaimed for his work observing and charting solar flares, Mervyn Ellison was Senior Science Master at Sherborne School from 1933-47. During this time he built an observatory in the Headmaster's garden from where he made many important observations of the sun. His daughter, Dione Ellison (Lady Shaw) a Sherborne Old Girl, has kindly funded the astronomy room development.

Katy Smith, Head of Physics at the School said, 'Although just a small step in development terms, this is a giant leap for astronomy at the School. Just a quick look at the moon through a telescope can inspire a life-long fascination with space. There are numerous female astronomers and astrophysicists, such as Maggie Aderin-Pocock, presenter of The Sky at Night, and Helen Sharman, the first British person in space. You never know, this new dimension to School Science might just launch a Sherborne girl on a career in astronomy or astrophysics a star of the future!'

The opening of the new astronomy room was a fitting end to Science Week which saw a range of events at the School, including a visit by girls to an Astrodome in the School's Sports Hall. Here they were introduced to the planets and constellations that they can now all view first-hand.

Two years ago the School opened its new state-of-the-art Science Centre. Almost half of the sixth form study at least one science subject and the most popular subject at A Level is Maths.


Photo Caption Lady Shaw and Physics Teacher at Sherborne Girls, David Buck
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