The Faculty of Science at Stockholm University annually organises a research school for high school students in several subjects, including astronomy and physics. The idea is that the students during two weeks carry out simple research projects and present their results in a report. The research school has become very popular with many applicants from all over Stockholm.

Six students have worked as astronomers by making observations of the Milky Way with the help of the radio telescopes on the roof of the AlbaNova building. The projects have dealt with the rotation curve of the galaxy and a mapping of the spiral arm structure. The students have also searched for possible radio signals from exoplanets. Supervisor Magnus Persson is very satisfied with what the students have accomplished:
- In addition to being efficient, cooperating and helping each other to understand, they have worked towards a common goal and learned a lot about research and astronomy along the way, explains Magnus Persson.
The students agree with the positive feedback:
- It has been fun and instructive. Unfortunately we don't study much astronomy in school, says Sophie Hallbert, who recently finished her second year at the high school Franska skolan.

In addition to the project work, the students have listened to exciting lectures on quantum physics and cosmology given by researchers at AlbaNova, as well as presentations from other research areas such as chemistry and zoology.

- The research school is an excellent platform to give pupils an insight into how one works in different areas of science, says Magnus Näslund, head of Skolastro, the Department of Astronomy's project for interplay with schools.

Contact:

Magnus Näslund, Tel: 08-5537 8527, magnus@astro.su.se