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Aston casts eye in the sky

7 February 2006 – for immediate release

Aston University will soon be welcoming sixth form students from across the country to design, build and launch a hot air balloon.

The students will be making preparations for take off as part of an Engineering and Science residential event on Friday 16th – Saturday 17th February.

The event, which has been organised in association with NAGTY* (National Association for Gifted and Talented Youth), has been designed to provide students with an opportunity to develop and enrich their knowledge of the subjects by participating in a fun and challenging project.

Students will apply for one of four Engineering and Science options (GIS/Multimedia, Electronic Engineering, Mechanical Engineering or Chemistry/Chemical Engineering) and will work in teams of eight to complete the project.

Those students choosing the Chemical Engineering/Chemistry Strand will be involved in providing a suitable fuel source for the balloon. The Electronics students will modify a miniature digital camera to enable it to take a series of photographs during the balloon voyage. Once the balloon has been successfully launched, digital photos will be taken to provide data for the GIS (Geographic Information System) students.

Those who have chosen the Mechanical Engineering option of the project will be involved in designing and making a mini basket to be attached to the balloon. They will also be responsible for calculating the different forces acting on the balloon, to ensure its stability before launching.

Vice-Chancellor of Aston University Professor Julia King will give a welcome talk to the students attending the event.

Ends

For further press information please contact Hannah Brookes on (0121) 204 4549

Notes to editors

* NAGTY aims to identify and make provisions for pupils aged 11 - 18 in the top 5 per cent ability range nationally. Membership of the Academy opens up a host of opportunities for gifted and talented students providing them with a real challenge & the opportunity to stretch themselves outside the classroom.

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