The ICG recently hosted a number of students on short work experience visits to learn what it is like to be a researcher in astronomy. Ellie Waddington (Yr 11 Tunbridge Wells School for Girls), Vince Parker, Tom Knapman (both Yr 10 from Crofton School in Stubbington) and Liam Stigant (Yr 12 Portsmouth Grammar School) all visited the ICG for one or two weeks in July.
Ellie and Vince worked with Karen Masters on projects using galaxy classifications from Galaxy Zoo (www.galaxyzoo.org) to investigate how galaxy morphologies change as a function of their colour. Tom worked with Lado Samushia, learning how to apply statistics and use tools like Matlab to get constraints on theoretical models . Finally, Liam worked with Rob Crittenden to learn how maps of the cosmic microwave background can tell us about our Universe.
The students appreciated their experiences learning about research life. Ellie said she got a “taster of what I would experience if I went to university and pursue physics as a career”. Vincent said he gained “amazing insight to what my life will be like we I go to university and it has definitely encouraged my decision to go,” and added, “Everyone in the department was also kind and willing to talk about what they were doing at the university.”