The RAS Venus Newspaper Competition for Schools, 2004
The competition was organized and assessed by the RAS Education Committee
The winners are:
In total of 50 schools made 101 entries.
The Original Competition:
CALLING ALL YOUNG PEOPLE WITH AN INTEREST IN ASTRONOMY
Venus is the brightest planet in the sky. Sometimes it is so bright that it looks like an aircraft landing or is reported as an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO)!
Venus has always fascinated people on Earth. The Babylonians and Sumerians recorded the days when it appeared in the morning or evening sky. The Ancient Greeks linked it with their goddess Aphrodite. Later the Romans linked the myths of Aphrodite to Venus, their goddess of love and beauty.
Although Venus is our sister planet, it is a desolate world. The surface temperature is so high that the metal lead would melt there! The climate of Venus is a warning to us about what can happen to a planet when global warming runs out of control!!
On the 8th June 2004, Venus will cross the face of the Sun. This is a very rare event. Only six transits have taken place since the invention of the telescope almost 400 years ago. The first recorded observations were made in 1639 by Jeremiah Horrocks at Hoole in Lancashire. His observations showed that the Sun was several times further away than previously thought. He was assisted in his calculations by William Crabtree, an old boy of the Manchester Grammar School. They worked together to improve the astronomical data tables and were rewarded by seeing the transit on the day they predicted. (A good example of the scientific method in action for those doing SC1 investigations!) For the transit of 1769, Captain James Cook took a 'party of gentlemen' from the Royal Society in London to the Pacific Island of Tahiti. The last transits of Venus occured in 1874 and 1883.
This year's transit will be visible from all parts of the UK, weather permitting! If it's cloudy, the web will be a source of images.
Our highly successful interdisciplinary competition has been running for seven years. It is an excellent opportunity to forge cross-curricular links and to use the Internet and your library to search for material.
This year, we invite school pupils to create a newspaper or write a feature article to mark this very special event – the Transit of Venus.
The Newspaper Competition is open to pupils in the age ranges 7-11 and 11-14 years.
The Feature Article Competition is open to pupils in the age ranges 14-16 and 16-19 years.
Groups or committed individuals may enter, but based on past experience, we strongly recommend that the Newspaper Competition be undertaken by groups of pupils. We cannot accept more than two entries per class.
A winning Newspaper Entry is likely to contain:
A winning Feature Article Entry is also likely to include many of the points mentioned above. The article must be not more than 2000 words long, must contain diagrams and/or images, and should be in the style of magazines such as Astronomy Now or New Scientist.
Key points to remember:
On the front page of your entry you must include:
The first prize in each age group will include a Redshift 5 CD-ROM donated by Focus Multimedia. There will also be certificates and a range of astronomy books.
There is no entry form. The decision of the judges is final and the results will be announced on the RAS web site (www.ras.org.uk) at the end of September. Winners will be informed by post.
The competition is organized by the Education Committee of the Royal Astronomical Society. Send your entry, to arrive by 2004 September 10, to:Venus Competition, Royal Astronomical Society, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BQ.
This information is available for download as an 18k pdf file.