Guest Speakers



Space Rocks! Guest Speakers

Chris Darby:

Chris Darby

Bio: Chris is the Education Manager at the National Space Centre in Leicester; the UKs largest visitor attraction dedicated to Space exploration and Space science.

Chris has a degree in metallurgy from Sheffield University and has worked in industry for over 25 years in both technical sales and managerial roles.

At the turn of the century, having left his industrial roots, a new opportunity within an education environment became available - working for a Leicester based STEM Education Company. This led the way to a position at the National Space Centre in 2006 and he now leads a team that delivers all the informal educational learning, public programmes and outreach within the Centre.

Chris travels the equivalent distance of a trip into Space every day to go to and from work!

Talk: 'To ISS and beyond'

Tim Peake recently became the first official British Astronaut to go into Space. How did he train? How did he get there? What do astronauts do whilst in Space, and where to next?

Come along and hear the answers to these questions and more, together with some lively demonstrations and Space artefacts.

Vix Southgate:

Vix Southgate

Bio: Vix Southgate specialises in Events and VIP Management, and Creative Communications across many industries. Vix's Science Communication work includes authoring and illustrating children's books, such as; Yuri Gagarin  The First Spaceman and other fact-based books. Vix is a STEM Ambassador working in schools around Europe.

In 2012, Vix created and developed CASSiE (a knitted hedgehog and UK Space Mascot that helps encourage STEM in primary schools) with the help of NASA and the BBC.

Since 2014 Vix has been the BIS's National Coordination Manager for World Space Week. She has also organised and run Space-related events such as 'An Evening with Al Worden' in Oxford; helped coordinate Helen Sharman's 25th Anniversary events in London; and is the European Agent for NASA Astronaut, Al Worden.

Talk: 'Human Spaceflight and the benefits to life on Earth.'

Including: The life of Yuri Gagarin, The First Spaceman. A real SOKOL KV-2 spacesuit (the one in the photo) will be on show at the event.

Mark Eustace:

Mark Eustace

Spend an hour or so in the company of a local astronomer who will take you on a journey through the solar system. As we fly by the Sun and each planet in turn, we'll learn lots of facts about these different worlds. We'll discover the speciaol conditions on Earth that make it inhabitable for carbon life forms and we'll look at the special relationship between the Earth and our nearest neighbour, the Moon. We'll take time out to look at the vast distances in space and some of the problems that we will have to overcome if we are ever to journey to other planets orbiting other stars. We'll also visit Pluto and learn why it was once known as a planet but is not any longer.

If we have time left to do so, we'll also look at how big our Sun is by comparison with other stars in the Milky Way. It would take one million, three hundred thousand Earths to make one Sun so it's pretty big right? Wrong! Wait til you see how big the largest star discovered so far is and then you'll think again!

I'm an amateur astronomer with an interest in astra and solar photography. I have been a member of the Chesterfield Astronomical Society for about 7 years now and am the current president of the society. I have given many talks to groups throughout North East Derbyshire and continue to develop new talks on this fascinating subject. I am a part-time teacher at a local education centre where I deliver courses about IT and where from January I will also be teaching students about astronomy.

Dennis Ashton:

Dennis Ashton

Dennis is a local astronomer and his talk is on the 'Lightspeed Universe'.

Last updated: Tuesday, November 08, 2016Print the Eckington School Guest Speakers page

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