Dounreay scientists help kids study solar system

Dounreay scientists help kids study solar system

Dounreay’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) ambassadors have been getting involved in helping school children understand the wonders of our solar system.

The Highland Solar System project, sponsored by the Scottish Government, is touring the north coast with scientists and STEM ambassadors on board.

They have been visiting primary schools in the area, including Reay, Farr and Melvich, before heading out as far as Lochinver in later weeks.

The pupils learn to understand the size of the solar system, the relative size of the planets and conditions on the surface of the planets and the Sun.

They do this by reducing the Solar System down to the size of the North Highlands and placing themselves on it, with their own school as the Sun and a distant school as Neptune.

Fact sheets, a booklet and a poster help them understand the scale of the solar system and their place in it.

STEM ambassador Giovanna Varallo, a radiological protection advisor working for DSRL, has been involved in the project.

“I spent a morning at a local primary school helping with the interactive solar system project,” she said.

“The pupils were inquisitive and participated with real enthusiasm.”

More information on the project can be found at