Our wee star

A SCHOOLGIRL from Dalmeny has been instrumental in naming a new constellation over Scotland.

The constellation, which will be known as the 'Wee Sleekit Beastie', is the first to be chosen for many hundreds of years in the northern sky.

The new constellation which features eight stars, was named after schools across Scotland were invited to take part in an astronomy project as part of the International Year of Astronomy 2009.

Dalmeny made it through to the final where they had to select a star.

Once all the stars were chosen they were linked to form the constellation and a competition run to create a design. The design's aim was to celebrate Scotland's contribution both to the international year of Astronomy 2009 and Homecoming, the 250th anniversary of Robert Burn's birthday.

Of all the entries from Dalmeny, primary seven pupil Laura Doliczny believed the constellation took on the form of a mouse, hence the name.

Head teacher at Dalmeny Primary School, Roger Meachem was delighted that Laura's entry had been chosen as the name for the constellation.

He said: "To create a constellation it has to be something that every astronomer across the world will recognise. We are really proud for Laura to have her design chosen for the Scottish constellation as we believe Scotland is one of only a few countries in the world to have such a thing, the others being Australia and New Zealand."

Mr Meachem added this was only the beginning for pupils taking part in science-based projects for starting next term Dalmeny is to pilot a scheme whereby pupils will receive five hours tuition on science per week.

The astronomy project, which was staged over a 10 week period saw pupils take part in workshops and a planetarium show.