A team of three Physics students (Lohith K, Jabez L and Mortimer S) under the tutelage of Dr Preston have been working on the restoration of a telescope donated to the school many years ago. The telescope is situated behind Sankey’s House and has unfortunately degraded over time. Our aim is to restore the telescope to full working order. This has involved designing a new roof dome and tracking motor assembly, followed by a re-assembly of the telescope itself. Over the last few months we have been working on the dome, which we decided should be a geodesic one made from fibreglass with rubber inserts to prevent water ingress. This dome will be mounted on the existing circular rail with wheels allowing it to rotate.
At present we have completed the design for the dome and have contacted a fibreglass production company for help with the project. Thanks to the generosity of the St Nicolas Association [current parents' association] we were able to source funding for the project. So far, the project has been an excellent introduction into the engineering method and a good precursor to the Ricardo CREST Award many of us are going to be involved with.
Alongside the restoration we have been involving the school community in the project and launched the Lancing Telescope Group with the aim to provide the experience of using a large telescope and also to take on leadership opportunities in the managing and maintenance of the telescope going forward.
We aim to finish the project by the end of the academic year 2019-2020 with the hope it can be an excellent source of opportunity for many Lancing students to come.
Lohith K (Upper Sixth)
[Published September 2019]