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SETI 2001 Competition for Schools

 

The winners are:

  • 7–11 Years: First Prize: Ogbourne Primary School, Marlborough. The Milky Day,Class 3 Second Prize: Ysgol Yt Holl Saint, School Hill, Greffordd, Wrecsam. News of the World, ear 2
  • 11–14 Years: First Prize: Heanor Gate School, Heanor, Derbyshire. The Moon,Chris Padgham, Greg Palfreyman, Tom Margot & Chris Breakwell: Highly Commended: Gordano School, Portishead, Bristol. The Daily Planet, by Kathryn Power li
  • 14–16 Years: Highly Commended: Maidstone Grammar School for Girls. ET Phones Home, Lucy Ward & Saffron McMahon

 

The Original Competition:

 

CALLING ALL YOUNG PEOPLE WITH AN INTEREST IN ASTRONOMY:
The SETI Newspaper competition for schools

Imagine the year is 2020 and you have just heard the amazing and perhaps disturbing news that the first signs of intelligent life have been detected from beyond our planet. The SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) team are being very cautious but they think that their radio telescopes have picked up faint signals from a star system about 10 light years away.

We invite groups of pupils to produce a newspaper as if written on that momentous day. Open to groups of pupils in age ranges 7-11, 11-14, 14-16 and 16-19 years. Committed individuals may also enter.

A winning entry is likely to contain:

  • A good, relevant, witty headline and lead story.
  • Reports on
  • the reactions of people in the street.
  • the possible future impact on society.
  • how the signals were detected.
  • other observations to confirm the findings
  • optical, infra-red or microwave.
  • the prospects of setting up communications with intelligent inhabitants of the star system
  • the nature of the message we might send
  • the dangers of communication
  • the possibility that our presence is already known!
  • one or two other events that occurred on the day.
  • An illustration speculating on the nature of the new world.
  • A cartoon about the discovery.
  • An original poem about the discovery.
  • One or two advertisements related to space travel.
For teachers, our highly successful inter-disciplinary newspaper competition has now been running for four years. It is an excellent opportunity to forge cross-curricular links and a real reason to use the Internet and your library to search for material. An effective Internet search phrase is 'SETI'. In addition, you might want to encourage your pupils to sign up for the SETI@Home screen-saver that processes data from existing radio searches. The web page is to be found at http://setiathome.ssl.berkeley.edu/

In the class context, the work should be done by groups of pupils - we cannot accept more than two entries per class. Committed individuals have been successful in previous competitions.

Key points to remember:

  • Lay out your material in the style of a modern newspaper.
  • Each article must have the name of the contributor(s).
  • Cover four sides of A4 if desktop published or four sides of A3 if largely hand-written.
  • Enclose a large stamped addressed envelope for the return of your work.
On the front page of your newspaper you must include:
  • Name, Address, Postcode and Telephone Number of your School.
  • Name of your class or group if appropriate.
  • Age Range (7-11, 11-14, 14-16 and 16-19 years).
  • Full name of your teacher (eg Ms Jane Smith).
  • A signed declaration by your teacher that
    • the selection of existing material was done by the group or individual and
    • all original material, design and layout was the work of the group or individual.

There will be a range of superb prizes for the winners of each age group. There is no entry form. The decision of the judges is final. The competition is organised by the Education Committee of the Royal Astronomical Society. Send your entry to arrive by 1st June 2001 to: SETI Competition, Royal Astronomical Society, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BQ.Highly Commended: Maidstone Grammar School for Girls. Lucy Ward & Saffron McMahon For teachers, our highly successful inter-disciplinary newspaper competition has now been running for four years. It is an excellent opportunity to forge cross-curricular links and a real reason to use the Internet and your library to search for material. An effective Internet search phrase is 'SETI'. In addition, you might want to encourage your pupils to sign up for the SETI@Home screen-saver that processes data from existing radio searches. The web page is to be found at On the front page of your newspaper you must include: There will be a range of superb prizes for the winners of each age group. There is no entry form. The decision of the judges is final. The competition is organised by the Education Committee of the Royal Astronomical Society. Send your entry to arrive by 1st June 2001 to: SETI Competition, Royal Astronomical Society, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BQ.

 

For teachers, our highly successful inter-disciplinary newspaper competition has now been running for four years. It is an excellent opportunity to forge cross-curricular links and a real reason to use the Internet and your library to search for material. An effective Internet search phrase is 'SETI'. In addition, you might want to encourage your pupils to sign up for the SETI@Home screen-saver that processes data from existing radio searches. The web page is to be found at On the front page of your newspaper you must include: There will be a range of superb prizes for the winners of each age group. There is no entry form. The decision of the judges is final. The competition is organised by the Education Committee of the Royal Astronomical Society. Send your entry to arrive by 1st June 2001 to: SETI Competition, Royal Astronomical Society, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BQ.