Visit Report : Balnain Primary School

School: Balnain Primary School
Location: Glen Urquhart
Date: 17/04/2018
Duration: Full Day
Modules: Earth, Sun and Moon : P1 – P3
Solar System : P1 – P7
Hunting for Asteroids : P4 – P7
Nature of Light : P4 – P7
Observing the Night Sky : P1-7
Pupil Participants: 31
Adult Participants: 3
Visit Activity: 40


This week saw one of us heading up the Great Glen past Loch Ness to the beautiful scenery of Glen Urquhart, near Drumnadrochit. As a small school of 31 pupils in just two classes, it was fairly straight forward to work with each group in turn. After looking at the Earth, Sun and Moon with the younger group, it was the turn of the older group to look at the Solar System, which involved our hands-on play-doh planets activity … and the class proved themselves very capable of following instructions. The ever popular Nature of Light session saw more cries of “it’s magic”, although we can assure you it really is just science. After being treated to a lovely curry lunch, we moved onto stars and constellations, and had the older pupils assembling their own planispheres, to be kept at school for the next clear night. The school day finished on the laptops, and saw the P4-7 class searching for asteroids in images from a professional robotic telescope.

There was a short break to look around the area, then it was off to the village hall for a community astro-evening. Despite a shower of rain, we were delighted to welcome 40 members of the local community for a chats about light, gravity and space exploration. A long and busy day all told, but very rewarding in many ways, with some bright, enthusiastic students and some probing questions.