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School competition “The South African Sky over Germany” – the winners are announced
Around 100 German and South African guests took part in the closing event of the school competition “The South African Sky over Germany” funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) at the Center for Astronomy Education and Outreach on 19 October. After exploring the digital planetarium, the winners, Einstein Gymnasium Neuenhagen, CJD Christophorusschule Königswinter and Carl-Bosch Gymnasium Ludwigshafen, were ceremonially honoured. Representatives of the three German schools selected and delegations from their South African partner schools were invited to the event.
The judges were unanimous in their decision and clearly impressed by the winners’ concepts for a school partnership between a German and South African school. The criteria for assessing the concept, which had to demonstrate astronomical and cultural junctures between the schools, included the possibility of practical implementation, in addition to originality and the successful integration of astronomical content.
Each of the three concepts took a completely different approach: one of the ideas of Carl-Bosch Gymnasium in Ludwigshafen is to help students discover new constellations in the night sky and to name them after modern associations. Physics students at CJD Christophorusschule in Königswinter wish to perform a distance calculation for the near-earth asteroid Toutatis. The school also impressed with a variety of individual ideas from pupils, who hope to produce short films of their everyday activities to show their partner school what life is like in Germany. Einstein Gymnasium in Neuenhagen near Berlin is planning a joint observatory. This would involve installing an astronomical observatory at both the German school and South African school. By exchanging images, pupils at both schools will be able to jointly investigate the hemisphere.
These creative concepts will help to establish active partnerships. The winners are working with their partner schools to prepare a visit to South Africa by a school delegation. They will then jointly present their projects at the National Science Festival in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape between 13 and 19 March 2013.