Students capture sun arcing over Withywood school
A PINHOLE camera made by a student at the Merchants' Academy in Withywood is taking pictures of the sun minute by minute over the next three months in an unusual science project.
In March images taken by the camera will be linked into the website of Justin Quinnell, the Bristol-based pinhole photography artist, to make a panoramic picture of the sun arcing over the academy.
The camera was made by Year 8 student Sophie Newman using just a drinks can into which she put some special photographic paper.
Jenny Templar, who is leading the project, said: "It is secured to the roof of one of our two-storey buildings with plastic cable ties and is facing south towards Dundry. The camera is constantly taking images of the sun as it arcs over the building."
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Sophie is one of a number of students at the school taking part in the SS Great Britain Trust's Future Brunels project.
She said: "The programme is inspiring us for the future. It gives us opportunities to do science in a fun and interesting way. I am looking forward to the four years that I am spending with the rest of the team."
Two other students at the academy have taken their cameras home to record images of themselves, family and friends.
The Future Brunels project is a five-year rolling programme encouraging more young people to consider a career in science and engineering.
Nick Short, head of the secondary phase at Merchants' Academy, said: "The project is now in its third year and has inspired many young people at Merchants' Academy.
"Students in year seven are selected as part of a whole year group activity. The students that show the most potential in the field of engineering are selected and then supported throughout their time at the academy.
"The project includes visits to engineering institutions and places such as the S.S Great Britain and Thorpe Park. This is a great opportunity for our young people."