HUNGARY: Saint Stephan Secondary School, Budapest
I am from Hungary, a student of Saint Stephan Secondary School. Participating in the International Year of Astronomy, I have made some presentations for my school-mates after school time. These presentations were about:
Galaxies' types and evolution
About every third week there was a presentation from January to April. I was so happy to notice, that people were very interested in astronomy; I counted 10-18 students every time.
I have made a model of the solar system for the first presentation. It is easy to construct, you only need pearls and polystyrene balls as the planets and a lamp-shell forming the Sun. The planets' diameters are on a small scale (1:2 316 666 667), but their distance from the Sun should be thousand fold smaller; otherwise the Neptune would be 2 kilometers away! However, during the presentation the students got these objects, and they stood so far from the lamp-shell (Sun), that their distances were proportional. In this way the Mercury was only 2,5 centimeters far, while the Neptune was 2 meters away. Thusly students could have seen how our solar system looks like. This model is in my room now, so I can easily show it for anyone.
One of my friends often helped me to manage this project. He gave the lecture on telescopes. By that time he brought a telescope in the school, which was similar to the instrument of Galileo, and students could try it. Once, at a night program in the school, we have showed the Moon and Saturn with our telescopes to the students, and they also tried how these instruments worked. Telescoping was interesting to them, because it was the first time to see it for the generality. It was a good time to speak about the International Year of Astronomy, about projects being held all over the world. Then some teachers also came and watched through the telescopes.
It wasn't the only time, when we showed the sky to people. A few days later we've participated in the ‘100 Hours of Astronomy' project with some other friends of mine. We went out to the street, and showed the sky to the foot-passengers using our telescopes. These occasions were amusing, so we repeated it a couple of time, and we plan to do it again and again, in the rest of the year!
I think, astronomy programs in schools are important, because teachers have no time to educate it. Nevertheless it is interesting for students, and this year is the best time to deepen our knowledge on astronomy!