A website run by the Physics and Astronomy Department at the University of Leicester has recently won a prestigious international award given by the San Francisco Chronicle.
In the midst of stiff competition the 'Educational Guide to Space' has now won the right to display the 'Best of the Web' icon on its homepage which helps space enthusiasts sift through the huge amount of material on the web and visit the best available information.
The San Francisco Chronicle stated: "The University of Leicester Guide to Space and Astronomy is an appealing, no-nonsense site that takes visitors directly into the cosmos. There is no need to click link after link to travel into space. You want Venus? Click on Venus. The British site also offers a rare international perspective."
The 'Educational Guide to Space' was set up four years ago in response to the large number of enquiries from schools concerning space related issues and was intended to provide curriculum support for teachers and students.
Dr Martin Barstow, co-ordinating the scheme, said: "Recently, we have added an 'Ask the Astronomer' facility where people who visit the site can email their questions and get a response within 24 hours."
The award winning website is predominantly serviced by research and undergraduate students and has stimulated several other outreach activities in the Physics and Astronomy Department leading to grants from the PPARC Public Understanding of Science Awards. The most recent was for £70,000 to fund 'Classroom Space', a scheme where schools will be able to download real space data for use in the classroom.
Dr Barstow added: " Building on the University of Leicester's reputation as one of Europe's foremost space research institutions, the 'Educational Guide to Space' has attracted over 30,000 visits. This award shows that we are making an important contribution to school science teaching both in the UK and abroad.
"With our position as co-founders of the National Space Science Centre, the Landmark Millennium project for the East Midlands, it further confirms Leicester's status as Britain's space city."
The website can be found at:
NOTE TO NEWSDESK: For more information, please contact Dr Martin Barstow on 0116 252 3492.
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