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From Louis Trichardt, Kos Coronaios writes.

From Louis Trichardt, Kos Coronaios writes:

Limpopo Astronomy Outreach visited Ridgeway College on 14 and 15 July on an IYA2009 outreach. The college was identified as an ideal candidate for the Sumbandila project. Sumbandila means 'show the way' or literally translated from Thsivenda, 'point the road'. Ridgeway College was well suited being a small school with a good ethnic and cultural mix among learners and an ethos, tradition and capacity for seeing each learner as an individual. The Sumbandila Trust, in partnership with Marwyn Investments London and Study Trust South Africa, is a non-profit organisation in the field of secondary education. It was formed to meet this particular need.

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Hidden in the rural villages of Limpopo are children who have little hope of receiving a decent education, being in under-resourced schools. Though they have limited experience of life outside their villages and the narrow confines of their society, they are bright enough to know there's another world out there. The Sumbandila Trust seeks out some of the brightest and most determined of these children as they complete primary school and offers the first tier among them full bursaries at good schools for their entire secondary education. A second tier is comprised of applicants who progressed as far as the final phase of the selection process but did not quite make it. They are assisted in applying for bursaries and, if successful, a Study Trust Bursary pays for them to attend one of the better schools in the area, assisting them with school fees, transport costs and the purchase of books and stationary.

The two evenings consisted of an astronomy display with posters showing the Solar System, planets, stellar birth, our place in the Universe, etc. It also included a series of posters showing how astronomy, the age of our Earth and our fossil history going back 2.1 billion years are all related, with a South African flavour.

Activities the kids participated in were building a MoonScope, a Southern Star Wheel and pacing out a scaled down version of our Solar System. The view through the telescope of Saturn was accompanied by lots of delighted exclamations and at around 200 times magnification I certainly had one of the best views of the ringed planet so far this year. A few constellations and their mythology were discussed and, as always, the green laser pointer was a hit. The constellations Scorpius and Sagittarius had everyone looking sky-wards as I explained the mythology surrounding them. Projections on the big screen included video clips of how our Moon was formed and the sizes of planets and stars. A total of 50 children participated in the two evenings with a few of the school's teachers joining in."

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Title Annotation:IYA2009 News
Publication:Monthly Notes of the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa
Geographic Code:6SOUT
Date:Aug 1, 2009
Words:460
Previous Article:All pictures by Peter Cramb unless stated otherwise.
Next Article:Oudtshoorn arranged an IYA2009 event with a difference: Star inspired fine art!
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