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Photo by TGC

Elaine Paige Snowden Astronomy School 2022

Hunter Ririnui —

Article by Hunter Ririnui

Over the holidays between the 10-15 July, I had the opportunity to attend the Elaine Paige Snowden Astronomy School 2022 at The University of Canterbury. The EPS Astronomy school is a fully funded, five day program for Year 13 students interested in studying Astronomy/Physics at UC. Applications for this scholarship were taken from all over NZ, and only 20 were chosen.

We stayed in the Roster and Rutherford Halls of Residence with a few current UC Astronomy students who helped run the program. They were very informative about study pathways, opportunities available and student life. Living in the halls was very enjoyable as I got to bond with and become close with the friends I made while on the program.

We toured the university’s facilities and attended super interesting lectures in areas such as Cosmology, Astrophysics, Geology, General Relativity, etc. Then we were able to do some hands-on learning with the many impressive telescopes at UC.

Image by: TGC

As well as this, we were very fortunate to have a few NASA scientists speak with us about working at NASA, study pathways and projects they had worked on - such as the SOFIA project (The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy).

There was also plenty of off-site experiences such as visiting the Christchurch Arts Centre - where we toured Rutherford’s Den, The International Antarctic Centre, and a road trip to Castle Hill and the UC Mt. Cass Research Area. We also had the quite a few opportunities to be out and about around Christchurch - exploring the city.

This was such an eye-opening experience, I was able to gain a vast amount of knowledge about astronomy and the University of Canterbury during this program, and I was able to meet heaps of amazing people. I highly recommend Year 12 Physics students to apply next year for the 2023 EPS program.