Three students from PIERCE’s senior year, were invited by the National Observatory of Athens (NOA) to take part in its 20th Astrophysics Summer School. Niki Stratikopoulou, Filippos Kaklamanis, and George Felekas were selected to attend the eclectic school, which accepts only 50 students each year.
The summer school, organized by the Institute for Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Applications & Remote Sensing (IAASARS) offered the students 3 to 4 days of lectures on various topics of modern Astrophysics given by NOA researchers. The students took part in small, hands-on group projects and presented their findings at the end of the session.
Of course there was plenty of stargazing involved, with night-time observations using the 62.5cm Newall telescope as well as other historical telescopes of NOA. Niki, Filippos and George also had the chance to communicate with the National Optical Astronomy Observatory in Arizona, US, via satellite.
The Astrophysics Summer School is geared towards talented high school students attending the last two years of high-school with an interest in Astronomy. The aim is to raise interest among students for the fields of astrophysics, space, and the environment, while at the same time providing schools with a link to technology and culture.