Earth & Space – Junior Cycle Topics


Arno Penzias & Robert Wilson and the Story of The Origins of the Universe

On the 20th of May 1964, Robert Wilson and Arno Penzias were working in their lab, when their antenna picked up a buzzing sound that seemed to come from every direction. What they had accidentally discovered was cosmic microwave background radiation (CMBR) – the noise produced by the big bang. Through the story of Wilson and Penzias we will explore the origins of the universe.

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Jocelyn Bell Burnell and the Story of Astronomy

Jocelyn Bell Burnell is an astrophysicist from Northern Ireland. As a postgraduate student in 1967, she discovered the first radio pulsar – a spinning neutron star. This was one of the most significant scientific achievements of the 20th century. Through the story of Jocelyn Bell Burnell, we will explore astronomy and the discovery that should have won her the Nobel prize.

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Caitriona Jackman and the Story of the Sun-Earth-Moon Model

Caitriona Jackman is an Irish astrophysicist who is forging a stellar career as one of the top planetary scientists in the UK. Caitriona spent the majority of her career working on the Cassini-Huygens mission to study the planet Saturn and its moons. Through the story of Caitriona Jackman, we will explore the Sun-Earth-Moon model and the moons of other planets.

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Katherine Johnson and the Story of Space Exploration

Katherine Johnson’s calculations of orbital mechanics were critical to the success of NASA’s space exploration programme. She was known for her mastering of complex calculations and helped pioneer the use of computers. Through the story of Katherine Johnson we will look at the history, and future of space exploration.

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Eunice Newton Foote and the Story of Cycles of Matter

Eunice Newton Foote was an american scientist, inventor and women’s rights campaigner who lived in the 1800’s. She was the first person in the world to suggest that increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would increase world temperature’s – which we now call the greenhouse effect. Through the story of Eunice Newton Foote we will explore cycles of matter.

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Mildred Dresselhaus and the Story of Cycles of Energy

Mildred “Millie” Dresselhaus is an american physicist who is known as the ‘queen of carbon science’. She was a pioneer in the electronic properties of materials and worked in MIT for over 50 years. Her outstanding work has enabled several renewable energy technologies. Through the story of Mildred Dresselhaus, we’ll explore cycles of energy.

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