On a cold Wednesday afternoon here at Urmston Grammar those of us lucky enough to be in the Theatre were transported to a galaxy far far away … acclaimed astrophysicist Christophe Galfard, who has worked with Stephen Hawking and whose latest release The Universe in Your Hand has been awarded Best Science Book of 2015, visited us courtesy of Urmston Bookshop to deliver a highly stimulating and entertaining talk on the wonders of astrophysics, which was accompanied by a stunning visual show. Christophe was a captivating speaker who actively engaged with the audience and answered the many questions offered up by the students in attendance, from Year 7 through to our physicists in Year 13. All agreed what a wonderful and entertaining experience it was and we were thrilled that Christophe took the time to sign and personalise his book for a huge number of us.
Many of our students have been keen to share their experience. For Oliver Wilkinson and Louis Twelvetree 7R the highlight of the talk was Christophe’s discussion about the rotation of the planets and in particular supernovas and how they are created: `Christophe explained that supernovas are created when atoms inside a star are crushed, releasing lots of energy and dust into space. When many supernovas join together it generates a mass of dust which is then pushed together and compacted to form a new star. Christophe’s talk was great`.
Sana Rafiq and Izzy Brett 10S agree that: `the lecture was very informative and full of interesting facts. It was unlike any talk we have been to before because Christophe was so knowledgeable and yet entertaining, and he engaged us so much. The visual show and images which Christophe shared with us were fascinating and helped us to absorb the facts. We would love to attend more lectures like this in the future!`
Our 6th Form were equally inspired. For Junaid Akram 13N the talk was `an inspiring insight into space and its physical elements which set our minds alight with the endless possibilities that this vast expanse offers`.
Anudeep Ayinaparthi 12N enthuses: `When I heard that internationally renowned astrophysicist Christophe Galfard would be visiting Urmston Grammar I was understandably incredibly excited, and the experience did not disappoint. I particularly enjoyed how Christophe discussed difficult concepts in a clear and easy to understand manner, and I greatly appreciated the time he took to answer my questions. Christophe’s talk has inspired me to genuinely consider Astrophysics as a subject to study at university`.
But the final word must go to Alex Callister 7M who speaks for us all with this deft summary of the event: `Christophe’s talk was amazing! I certainly learnt more than I ever expected. It was great to see how fascinated everyone in the Theatre was and Christophe is so inspirational that I am sure many students, including myself, will now be considering a career in Science. It was such an honour to engage with a great mind like Christophe’s and his lecture is one that I will never forget`.
Indeed, never will Urmston seem the same again now that Christophe has marked us out on his Universe.