Astronomy students reach for the A* grade

A COLLEGE is urging people to reach for the stars with an astronomy course which is open to students of all ages.

The astronomy GCSE is the first accredited course run by the STAR Centre, which is based in Keighley, and part of Leeds City College. The centre, which is also used by schools, features a NASA-style mission control room and a cosmodome and planetarium to help bring the subject to life.

Cassie Barlow-Hall, from Silsden, took the course over the past year and has celebrated achieving an A* this summer. She hopes the success will help her fulfil her ambition of studying astrophysics.

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She said: “The astronomy GCSE was as interesting as I had hoped – it’s a subject that fascinates me. I was thrilled to have achieved the A* grade as it reinforces what I want to do in the future.”

The one-year course, studied a half-day per week, involved two pieces of coursework and an exam, and covered topics ranging from our solar system, to the history of astrophysics, the life cycle of stars and our place in the universe.

As well as part-time learners, the college is also running the qualification with pupils from Oakbank School in Keighley,

The part-time course, which is due to run again from this month, welcomes “astronomy enthusiasts of all ages and with different levels of experience who are simply keen to explore their interest on a deeper level”.

More details are available at www.starcentre.org, via email [email protected] or by calling 01535 685167.