YOUNGSTERS have been inspired to reach for the stars by getting to grips with the night sky.

Durham University took its inflatable planetarium to Sedgefield Primary School today (March 10) to teach youngsters about the wonders of the universe.

All 200 pupils at the school went inside the inflatable dome, where they were taught about identifying the stars above us by university volunteers.

Jenny King, research associate in Durham University’s Physics Department, said: “The main aim of the planetarium is to give people some new things to think about and get them interested in astronomy.

“The children at Sedgefield had some very insightful questions and hopefully they will now pay more attention to the night sky.”

Deputy headteacher at Sedgefield Sam Smith said the planetarium had proved a big hit.

She said: “The children have described it as awesome, it has certainly been very interesting for them especially as some of the stars are used as character names in Harry Potter so now they can look at the night sky and know where Sirius and Bellatrix are.”

The planetarium marked the start of a week of engineering and science events at the Sedgefield school, with staff from the Centre of Life in Newcastle visiting on Thursday.