Sun|trek : Here Comes the Sun

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Applied Maths and Theoretical Physics

Abstract

The 'Sun|trek: Here Comes the Sun' project will capitalise on the diverse range of HEM's current activities to develop a lasting legacy of her work with schools. The project will be carried out in partnership with Heather MacRae (Ideas Foundation, Venture Thinking, Multi-Media Space, MissionX, Space2Earth Project), who will provide networking opportunities in the educational and creative arts sectors.

The main aim is to develop and deliver a set of five focussed resources about the Sun for the younger age group, mainly primary KS2, but also KS3. This is a key age for exciting an interest in science and harnessing the children's imagination through cross-curriculum activities. The project would aim, in particular, to link science with the arts (STEAM) to help children appreciate how the Sun, and space observations contribute to a better understanding of our place in the universe. This project will go beyond the visible and explore what we can detect at other wavelengths (eg infrared, radio, UV, X-rays) and the concept of false colour images will be explored, with the opportunity to inspire abstract art. There will be a natural bias towards the Sun and its interaction with the Earth, but other areas of astronomy and space science will be included. The resources will explore the work of a some relevant scientists (eg Galileo, Newton, Einstein, Herschel, Fr Secchi, Annie Maunder) and also present some contemporary role models from the solar physics community, in particular females. Consultant artists and teachers will be engaged to work on this project.

The five solar themes identified are:
a) Colours of light (Sun's radiation, Galileo, sunspots, Annie Maunder, Newton, Opticks, Earth observations, aurorae, solar storms, spectra)
b) Beyond the rainbow (Infra-red, thermal images, Herschel, radio communications, UV and X-rays, protection from UV, UV beads, Earth and space observations)
c) Gravity and orbits (Galileo, Newton, satellites, orbits, SoHO, STEREO, Solar Orbiter)
d) Harnessing solar energy on Earth and in Space; shine like a star (Einstein, photo-electric effect, nuclear fusion, solar farms, solar panels in space, ISS, space observatories)
e) Light and dark (day and night, seasons, ISS orbit, Solar Aid, sundials, eclipses)

The new resources and additional material (including children's art work, school activities and exhibitions) will be hosted on the Sun|trek (www.suntrek.org) website. The resources will highlight STFC funded solar research and researchers.The Sun|trek site will be updated and enhanced, in particular the interface for schools and teachers. The resources will also be linked to other websites, such as MediaSpaceUK (www.mediaspaceuk.co.uk), ESERO, STEM and the Space2Earth website (www.spacetoearthchallenge.org.uk), which is linked closely to Tim Peake's flight on the ISS (Dec 2015 - June 2016).

The project will be showcased at teachers' conferences and CPD sessions. Other solar researchers and post-grad students will be encouraged to participate. HEM's network of contacts, public lectures, social media, TV and radio activities will ensure that the project reaches far and wide.

Publications

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Title Sun, Space and Art 
Description The SunSpaceArt project runs workshops with scientists and artists in primary schools. 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact Beautiful artwork has been produced by the school children. 
 
Description Helios: Solar Storms Senario - Risk Assessment
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
Impact The study looks at the economic impact of solar storms, which are high on the UK's risk register.
URL https://www.jbs.cam.ac.uk/faculty-research/centres/risk/news-events/events/2016/understanding-the-he...
 
Description STFC SPARKS awards
Amount £15,000 (GBP)
Funding ID ST/R001561/1 
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2017 
End 07/2018
 
Title CHIANTI - Atomic Database 
Description CHIANTI is an atomic database developed by the Atomic Astrophysics research group at DAMTP, funded by STFC. It is now universally used by the solar physics community for the analysis of solar spectra, and is also widely used in the astrophysical community. Giulio Del Zanna is a key member of the CHIANTI team, and has led several CHIANTI papers and releases. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact CHIANTI has facilitated the analysis of solar spectra leading to over 3350 citations. 
URL http://www.chiantidatabase.org/
 
Description Associate Scientist on NASA's IRIS project 
Organisation Harvard University
Department Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This collaboration has resulted in several joint research papers.
Collaborator Contribution Joint research papers.
Impact Research papers
Start Year 2016
 
Description Collaboration with SEERIH, University of Manchester 
Organisation Manchester University
PI Contribution The SunSpaceArt team ran a Continued Professional Development day at SEERIH for 30 primary school teachers.
Collaborator Contribution SEERIH (Through the Science Window), linked with the University of Manchester, hosted a CPD session for teachers for the Sun|trek: Here Comes the Sun Project, with facilities and administrative support.
Impact Teachers were trained to run STEAM (STEM + Art) activities in their schools. They are engaged with this. many schools (14) requested SunSpaceArt workshops to be hosted by their schools. So far, workshops have been run by helen Mason and Helen Schell at four schools in Srockport, with very positive feedback.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Ely Cathedral - SunSpaceArt workshops 
Organisation Diocese of Ely
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Have run SunSpaceArt 'family drop-in' sessions annually at the Ely Cathedral Science Festivals
Collaborator Contribution Providing the venue and facilities.
Impact Reaching approximately 200 family members.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Get Space 
Organisation Spacelink Learning Foundation
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Participation in the annual Get Space workshops for school children organised by SpaceLink. Giving talks and running SunSpaceArt workshops.
Collaborator Contribution Facilitating the Get Space Workshops.
Impact Worked with over 200 children and 20 teachers. The feedback has been superb. 'I found the day amazing. I love science even more now', 'I enjoyed it very much and it was inspiring'. We distributed around 50 STFC leaflets.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Great Science Share 
Organisation Manchester University
PI Contribution The Great Science Share is an annual event involving hundreds of school children. We have participated in this event for several years in collaboration with Lynne Bianchi, Fascinate Science, University of Manchester. We have participated in the event in Manchester several times, and in 2018, joined schools and teachers in London.
Collaborator Contribution The Great Science Share is organised by Lynne Bianchi and colleagues, and has grown each year, until it is now a national event. They provide facilities.
Impact We have reached hundreds of primary school students and teachers.
Start Year 2016
 
Description NASA - Total Eclipse 2017 
Organisation National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution NASA Solar expert at Great Smoky Mountains, Eclipse 2017
Collaborator Contribution NASA facilitated a visit to the USA and stay at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I participated in the activities giving a presentation to hundreds of people, and was on NASA TV, reaching thousands.
Impact Public lecture about solar physics reached hundreds of people. TV appearances reached thousands.
Start Year 2017
 
Description RAL Space - school workshops 
Organisation Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
Department RAL Space
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The SunSpaceArt team have run workshops for school children and Continued Professional Development sessions for teachers at RAL Space.
Collaborator Contribution Facilitiation of these activities (admin, venue, refreshments) plus participation by Alessandra Giunta, Solar Orbiter team at RAL Space.
Impact Workshops for over 70 primary school children and 10 teachers.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Royal Observatory Greenwich 
Organisation Royal Observatory Greenwich
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Participation in a number of activities aimed at the public and school children, talks about the Sun and STFC funded solar research.
Collaborator Contribution Facilitating these activities, making a video for social media.
Impact Reaching around 300 members of the public and students.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Science Museum - the Sun 
Organisation Science Museum Group
Department The Science Museum
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The SunSpaceArt team have been running many activities associated with 'The Sun - Living with a Star' exhibition at the Science Museum London.
Collaborator Contribution The Science Museum have been very keen on our participation and facilitated this, also provided art resources.
Impact We have participated in: Panel discussion associated with the '8 Mins' performance on the opening evening (200 members of the public), running SunSpaceArt activities at the 'Family Sun Festivals' held in Nov 2018 (300 family members) and March 2019 (500 family members), the Lates in November 2018 (300 adults) and the 'Night Owls' (50 families with autistic youths). We have enriched the exhibition with STFC funded solar science information (eg about solar space projects, including Solar Orbiter) and the distribution of 500 STFC leaflets. In total, we have worked with over 1300 children, families and young adults, informing them about the Sun and solar research, making creative art. We have distributed over 500 STFC leaflets on the Sun and Moon. The feedback has been exceptional for all these events. 'Fantastic workshop, very informative' (parent). We have been contacted by people who attended for more information about the STFC funded SunSpaceArt project.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Science and creativity with the Ideas Foundation 
Organisation The Ideas Foundation
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution I have been working together with the Ideas Foundation to develop and provide activities for school students, in particular relating science (Sun, space) with creative activities (art, design). We have engaged with a school in Liverpool and a school in Essex, more recently in Maidstone and Greater Manchester.
Collaborator Contribution The Ideas Foundation provide the creative input, and networking opportunities.
Impact Workshops have been run at LiverpoolFACT and Hockerill Anglo-European College, Maidstone Arts Festival and in Greater Manchester.
Start Year 2016
 
Description UK Space Agency: Space to Earth Challenge 
Organisation UK Space Agency
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Participation in UK Space Agengy Educational activities #Principia linked to Tim Peake's flight on the ISS. In particular, member of Space to Earth Challenge team, provided educational resources, visited many schools, gave CPD to teachers
Collaborator Contribution Providing networking opportunities, links to schools etc.
Impact Increased interaction with UK schools, teachers and students. Invitation to give talks. Higher profile nationally.
Start Year 2016
 
Description ARISS link-up with Tim Peake 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact ARISS link ups with Tim Peake were an opportunity to link secondary schools and feeder primary schools, with talks and workshops. I participated in events in Norwich, Bristol and Stockport.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://principia.ariss.org/
 
Description Cambridge Science Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Members of the Atomic Astrophysics Group, in particular Helen Mason and Giulio Del Zanna, with post-docs and graduate students, regularly participate in the Biennial Open Day at the Centre for Mathematical Sciences, University of Cambridge. They showcase their STFC funded solar research activities and handed out information about STFC science, including around 100 STFC leaflets. This event is always very popular and the number of people reached is thousands. The team engage individuals, both adults and children, with posters, discussions, videos and interactive activities. The people expressed their thanks and appreciation of this outreach activity. The public report an interest in the topic and an increase in their knowledge about solar space research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2017,2019
 
Description Cambridge Science Festival and Festival of Ideas - Public Lectures 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Helen Mason gave Public Lectures on Solar Space Science at the Cambridge Science Festival and the Festival of Ideas
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://queen-ediths.info/event/cambridge-science-festival-2017-dynamic-sun/
 
Description Engagement with Schools 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Have run many CPD sessions for teachers. They were informed about the Sun, solar research and resources which could be used in the classroom relating to Sun|trek.

There has been an increased activity wrt Sun|trek classroom projects. Now hosted on the UK STEM website run by ESERO, the resources have been uniquely viewed by over 10,000 UK teachers (snce August 2013).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008,2009,2010,2011,2012
URL http://www.suntrek.org
 
Description HEM promoting solar science on social media - twitter and facebook 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact HEM has very active Twitter and Facebook sites reaching thousands. Posts about space science, astronomy, NASA, ESA, STFC, school activities, Women in STEM, science and art etc. People oftne share or retweet posts about solar science or SunSpaceArt workshops. They express interest and share with others. STFC often shares HEM's posts. Connections are made with teachers, who request more information or school workshops. People often express an increase in their knowledge about the Sun and space.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016,2017,2018,2019
URL https://twitter.com/helen_hm11
 
Description IoP Careers event for female undergraduate physics students 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Keynote address, lots of questions and interaction, in particular about careers for women in SET.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description One of NASA's solar experts for the 2017 Total Eclipse of the Sun 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Helen Mason was NASA's solar expert and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for the 2017 Total Eclipse of the Sun. This involved participating in the eclipse activities, giving a talk, running workshops, being on TV - NASA 360, and other TV channels, in the press etc. Through this event, she reached thousands of members of the general public in the USA and beyond.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/local/tennessee/2017/07/12/astronaut-cambridge-professor-among-s...
 
Description Principia Conferences - Portsmouth and York 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Principia conferences were held in Portsmouth and York to celebrate Tim Peake's flight on the ISS. I helped to run workshops and gave a talk.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://principia.org.uk/schools-conferences/
 
Description Public Talks at Science Centers, Astronomy Societies, Institute of Physics regional meetings 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Public talks have been given at Science Centres (INTECH, Cambridge), Winchester Science Festival, Universities (Cambridge, Oxford), Astronomy Societies (Dublin, Isle of Wight, Ely), IoP, RAL Talking Science. Discussion afterwards was animated. Follow on requests for further talks.

There has been very good feedback from these talks, resulting in further invites.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008,2009,2010,2011,2012
 
Description Public lectures and talks at schools by Helen Mason 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Helen Mason has given over 30 talks to schools and public lectures in the past 30 months. These have been to students of all ages, primary, secondary, sixth formers, undergraduates and post-graduates. In addition there have been talks to Astronomy Clubs, branches of the IoP, Women in Science Events, Science Festivals, Solar Sphere Festival, at the Royal Astronomical Society and the Royal Observatory Greenwich. She has reached well over 1000 people. The feedback has been very good, leading to further requests for talks. She has distributed information about STFC science.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017,2018,2019
 
Description Stellarium - Dance about the birth of a star 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Linking up with Dance Manchester, we worked with several secondary schools to perform a dance expressing the birth of a star -the Sun. This was performed in several public locations in Manchester, and also at the Big Science Share conference for primary schools. It was a stunning success.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rie5wYffr10
 
Description Sun, Space and Art workshops in primary schools 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Sun, Space and Art workshops bring together scientists and artists to work in primary schools. The results have been impressive, beautiful art work and an enrichment of science in the schools, with lots of questions from the children.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017
 
Description SunSpaceArt Workshops 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact SunSpaceArt workshops have been run in over 60 schools across the UK. Artists and scientists have been working together with the children and teachers to enhance scientific knowledge and creativity. The workshops have been very successful, with a high demand for more from many teachers and schools across the UK.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017,2018,2019
 
Description Sun|trek 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact The Sun|trek website reaches over 20,000 individuals per month internationally, with further impact from other communications media. In particular dedicated activities have been developed with UK schools and teachers, most recently 'Using Real Solar Data' and 'Collecting Solar Energy'. Now using social media also, facebook, twitter etc..

School students have engaged in science projects relating directly to Sun|trek and solar research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2006,2007,2008,2009,2010
URL http://www.suntrek.org
 
Description Talks relating to Women in Science 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Helen Mason has given many talks about her own career, relating to careers for Women in Science (some are on-line). She gave a talk at the RAS for International Women's Day, a keynote address for Cambridge AWISE and talks to STEM undergraduates in Bath (Feb. 2019) and UCL (Jan 2019) about her career in solar space science. The young students and postgraduates asked many questions about the science and about careers. She has had several blogs written about her, for example by the European Geophysical Union.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018,2019
URL https://blogs.egu.eu/divisions/st/2017/12/15/dr-helen-mason-solar-space-missions-a-life-with-the-sun...
 
Description Talks to Sixth Form students about Solar Space Science 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Helen Mason has given talks to many sixth form students at their schools and at school conferences. the students are always eager to learn about solar space science, what we have learnt and future projects, such as ESA's solar Orbiter. They ask some very interesting questions. They are keen to learn more about career opportunities in STEM subjects. As a consequence, HEM has been invited to visit other schools.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017,2018,2019
 
Description Work with schools and teachers in India 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Helen Mason has worked with many teachers and school children in India, during her visits in November 2016, 2017 and 2018. This work has been carried out mainly at IUCAA, Pune, India, but also at the Nehru Planetarium, New Delhi. She has given several public lectures.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017,2018
URL http://punemirror.indiatimes.com/pune/cover-story//articleshow/31241616.cms
 
Description Work with the media - BBC TV and Radio 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact BBC4 - 2012 and repeated many times - Seven Ages of Starlight
BBC2 - Science Britanica (with Brian Cox)
BBC - national (BBC4 - Mid week, Saturday Live) and local radio
BBC Yorkshire - Paul Hudson Weather Show
BBC Radio Cambridge - 2016 - Music of my life
Cam TV - 2016 - several interviews relating to Tim Peake
Radio Cam, interviews relating to Tim Peake


Enhanced public's awareness of solar research, links to Sun|trek on BBC website
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008,2009,2010,2011,2012
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00yb434
 
Description Working directly with UK schools 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Visits have been made to on average 20 schools per year, to give talks and run workshops related to the Sun, Sun|trek and solar research. A variety of activities includes the production of an iBook, a media day on Space Weather, Exhibition of Sun/Art work by the students, Sun Literacy, Mission Xtreme. Recent engagement has been with Tim Peake's mission on the ISS. Collaboration on a UK Space Agency website: Space2earth Challenge, and many visits to schools.

Exciting, new and diverse methods were used with these projects, which the students enjoyed very much, and learnt a lot from. The ideas and content are being developed and shared with teachers throughout the UK. Requests for me to visit schools and engage with the students have increased, with very good feedback from teachers and students at the schools I have worked with.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008,2009,2010,2011,2012
URL http://www.mediaspaceuk.co.uk
 
Description Workshops, training events for teachers 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The SunSpaceArt team led by Helen Mason have run many training events for primary school teachers, with ESERO, at the ASE, with SEERIH (University of Manchester), RAL, Space Camps UK and locally. The teachers have expressed a great interest in the SunSpaceArt project, requesting further information and visits to schools. The team have distributed hundreds of STFC leaflets (Sun and Moon) and informed individuals about how to order them online..
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017,2018,2019