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Students win bid for cosmic ray detector

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Students at South Bromsgrove School have won a bid for a £3,000 partnership grant from the Royal Society that will enable them to participate fully in the HiSPARC project (High School Project on Astrophysics Research with Cosmics).

The grant will be matched by the school’s Governing Body and because of this it will be possible for the students to purchase and install a system for detecting cosmic rays that are arriving at South Bromsgrove.

The Earth’s atmosphere is under constant bombardment from cosmic rays – particles from beyond our solar system. Their impact can be measured at the Earth’s surface but there is much about them that is unknown. The HiSPARC project allows schools and students to partner with Universities in undertaking research into the rays and how they vary with factors such as the season and atmospheric conditions. A small team of students at South has already been analysing data from other detectors from around Europe but having their own detector will bring more relevance to their work.

Mr Clark, Head of Physics said, “We are absolutely delighted to have secured the grant to allow us to have original scientific investigation taking place at the school, especially into something as inspiring as the mysteries of space.”

South will be working with the University of Birmingham and has invited other schools, Bromsgrove School and Holy Trinity Kidderminster, to participate in the project.