SoL celebrates with the stars

Young people have been getting starry-eyed in a bid to learn more about the night sky.

To celebrate the International Year of Astronomy a portable planetarium has been installed at the Stadium of Light.

Pupils from the SAFC Foundation's Playing for Success programme used the mobile installation to learn more about one of the world's oldest sciences, astronomy.

The lessons allowed the youngsters to explore the stars and their different constellations, the many solar systems that exist and the planets within them.

Coun Pat Smith, Cabinet Member for Children's Services at Sunderland City Council, said: "The astronomy session is a wonderful way to really get the youngsters excited by science.

"Although a subject that is often enjoyed by many, astronomy helps to open up a whole different side to science that captivates the pupils.

"It's extremely important that children enjoy learning and this unusual Playing for Success session offers a completely different and fun experience for those involved."

Playing for Success is designed to raise self-esteem and confidence by improving young people's skills and using sport as a teaching platform.

The International Year of Astronomy 2009 is a global celebration of astronomy and marks the 400th anniversary of the first use of an astronomical telescope by Galileo Galilei.