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Focus on Cork

Smart Stem The exciting telescope project championed by PlanNet21’s Denise Tormey and CIT-Blackrock Observatory connects Cork and San Francisco in a unique and innovative way Imagine… Imagine a project that uses the inspirational medium of astronomy to stimulate interest in science and technology in a way that has never been done before. Imagine bringing live astronomy into the classroom, where students get to control real telescopes in real-time and take pictures that they want to take. Imagine giving students the chance to write their own 120 | Silicon Valley Global

software code to connect with the telescopes. Imagine them discussing their pictures with students in classrooms across the globe and opening up discussions not only about cultural, technological and societal issues, but about the burgeoning space-science industry that use satellites to look down on our fragile planet just as they are gazing skywards using telescopes. Stimulate the imagination and you stimulate creativity.

The Context The weather in Ireland cannot rival California’s clear blue skies but the country has a strong astronomical heritage. For example, the oldest known astronomically-aligned structure in the world at Newgrange was built 6500 years ago and the world’s largest telescope was constructed in Birr in 1845, holding its preeminent position until the Hooker telescope

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