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St Cyprian’s School celebrates and soars into space

| March 7, 2012 | 1 Comment

St Cyprian’s School in Oranjezicht, Cape Town, 140 years old last year, has awarded its highest honour — the Lily Award — to Jacqui Ahrends, who has headed up the school’s Community Partnerships portfolio for 13 years, while also serving as the school librarian. Ahrends plays a crucial role in establishing partnerships with organisations that make a real difference in the lives of those less fortunate, whilst sensitising St Cyprian’s girls to national and global issues such as poverty, cruelty to animals, hunger, HIV/Aids and homelessness.

Fondly referred to by colleagues and students as the ‘angel’ of St Cyprian’s School, this warm and approachable woman creates opportunities for students to invest their time, energy and compassion in community work, and to forge relationships with people from less privileged backgrounds, reports Headmistress Sue Redelinghuys.

St Cyprian’s has also been selected as one of four girls’ schools on four continents to participate in an exciting worldwide initiative with Oxford University’s Astro-Physics department, to study a mini quasar in our galaxy.

St Cyprian’s students have joined the Global Jet Watch Project with schools in Chile, India and Australia to assist astronomers by taking accurate readings throughout the year, using cutting-edge technology from a state-of-the-art telescope installed on the school campus at the foot of Table Mountain.

Known as SS433, the remarkable nano-quasar under study lies almost a billion miles from earth. The mysterious phenomenon fires oppositely directed jets of hydrogen from near its central black hole at speeds of over a quarter of the speed of light. These sweep out along an axis every six months, producing a corkscrew pattern.

Keeping a constant watch on SS433 is impossible for a single observatory, which is why there are four sites around the world to keep the watch going on a 24-hour basis. Girls’ boarding schools were selected, so that readings could more easily be taken at night, and also to encourage girls to take an interest in astronomy.

Category: Autumn 2012

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  1. Dudleigh Anderson says:

    Please give me the names of the Headmistresses after Enid Ryall. I can’t find a list anywhere. Thanks.

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