University of Hertfordshire inflatable planetarium comes to Letchworth school

Pupils look at the University of Hertfordshire's inflatable planetarium at Fearnhill School in Letch

Pupils look at the University of Hertfordshire's inflatable planetarium at Fearnhill School in Letchworth. Picture: Fearnhill School - Credit: Archant

Letchworth schoolchildren got an up-close look at the cosmos on Monday when University of Hertfordshire boffins visited with one of their mobile planetariums.

Fearnhill pupils troop into the University of Hertfordshire's inflatable planetarium. Picture: Fearn

Fearnhill pupils troop into the University of Hertfordshire's inflatable planetarium. Picture: Fearnhill School - Credit: Archant

Fearnhill School old boy Lord Dover, who now studies astrophysics at the university, returned to his old school to teach the kids about the stars and planets with the aid of the state-of-the-art inflatable planetarium.

And pupils from Pixmore Junior School and Hitchin’s Purwell Primary School were among the stream of students who enjoyed the guided tour of the solar system, the Milky Way and beyond – projected onto the dome’s ceiling.

Lord, who still lives in Letchworth, left Fearnhill in 2013 and is now studying towards an MSc in astrophysics, with Queen guitarist Brian May – himself an astrophysicist – paying his tuition fees as part of a scholarship.

Lord said: “I made lots of friends at Fearnhill and we have stayed friends even though we are now spread out all over the country at different universities.

University of Hertfordshire astrophysics student and Fearnhill old boy Lord Dover talks to Fearnhill

University of Hertfordshire astrophysics student and Fearnhill old boy Lord Dover talks to Fearnhill pupils about the inflatable planetarium. Picture: Fearnhill School - Credit: Archant


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“My science teacher, Mrs Cullen, encouraged me to study astrophysics and gave me the confidence to apply to university.”

Fearnhill science head Deidre Wilson said: “We really want to encourage our students in STEM projects, and give them every opportunity to reach for the stars – just as Lord has.”

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Lord will be in Broadway Gardens this week with another of the University of Hertfordshire’s inflatable mobile planetariums.

Shows will be on the hour from 12 noon to 7pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with the last show at 6pm each day.

University of Hertfordshire astrophysics student and Fearnhill School old boy Lord Dover. Picture: F

University of Hertfordshire astrophysics student and Fearnhill School old boy Lord Dover. Picture: Fearnhill School - Credit: Archant

Tickets are available on the site from 11am on Friday, or on the door subject to availability.

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