“Astronomy Adventure for Teachers” in La Palma

The "Astronomy Adventure for Teachers" Summer School, organized by the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC), the Interactive Nucleus of Astronomy (NUCLIO, Portugal) and the National Schools' Observatory (NSO, Liverpool John Moores University, UK), took place in La Palma last week, from 20 to 23 July 2015. The school was attended by 13 teachers from the Canary Islands, UK and Portugal, who have participated in educational projects of the IAC and in the European project Open Discovery Space.

The training consisted of three days of conferences and hands-on workshops (a total of 18 hours) on subjects related to Astronomy, with particular emphasis on Inquiry-led teaching activities and scientific projects that can be pursued in schools. This theoretical and practical part was held at the Center for Astrophysics at La Palma (CALP) of the IAC, and was given by Nayra Rodríguez Eugenio, astrophysicist and science communicator of the Severo Ochoa program in the IAC, Rosa Doran, educator astronomer of NUCLIO, and Andrew Newsam, Director of the NSO. Carlos Álvarez, astronomer at the Gran Telescopio CANARIAS / IAC, gave a talk on the educational game Selene, which reproduces the formation of our satellite, the Moon, while the teachers Phillipa and Stuart Kettle presented an activity of building a Lego telescope.

The programme also included a full day at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, in which the participants visited the robotic Liverpool Telescope, the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (TNG), the ING telescopes William Herschel and Isaac Newton, and the Gran Telescopio CANARIAS (GTC). During the visits, astronomers Andrew Newsan (NSO), Marco Pedani (TNG), David Garcia (GTC) and Javier Méndez (ING) explained how the telescopes work, the technology and instruments used on them, as well as the science and educational projects that are carried out with them.

The main objective of this school, organized in the framework of the European projects Inspiring Science Education and Galileo Teacher Training Program, is to introduce teachers to the use of technology and different e-Learning resources, to help them bring science education to students in a more attractive way. The international flavor of the event also aims to offer teachers the opportunity to make links with colleagues and schools in other countries.

The complete programme of the Summer School can be found here.


Contact: severoochoa@iac.es
Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias. C/ Via Láctea s/n 38200, La Laguna. Canary Islands. Spain.
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