With only one week left in our internship (time flies!), our projects are coming to an end and are going online. If you read our blog last week you will know Nathan uploaded our first Youtube video (check it out here if you haven’t seen it yet) all about Origami in Space. This week we have another video and this one is all about Spectrometry and its use in astrophysics in the search for the composition of faraway stars and the possibility of life on other planets – or at least if they might be habitable. Click here to watch it!
From our blog last week you will also know that this week we hosted our AstroLands Academy event for Leaving Cycle students. With great speakers like PhD researcher Ciara Maguire and lecturers Dr. Sarp Akcay and Dr. Meg Schwamb, it was sure to be a success. There were even some guest appearances from I-LOFAR’s Dr Sophie Murray and Prof Peter Gallagher; with plenty of chat about their own backgrounds and the world of possibilities for aspiring astrophysicists. A very different feel to the other camps we hosted this summer but still as enjoyable and insightful! Some of the most important messages that came out of our discussions were to follow the things you’re passionate about (i.e. don’t worry if you don’t have the next 10 years planned out) and to not be afraid to take chances and reach out to those ahead of you in your field.
Over the last few months I’ve been working on some continuous professional development (CPD) resources, primarily for Junior Cycle science teachers. Our aim is to help out teachers who may be less familiar with space science or who are just keen to learn more. This is of importance since the change in the Junior Cycle science curriculum with an added section about Earth and Space science. There is also an emphasis on the nature of science and its role in society, and our CPD resources are a great way to understand astrophysics in the Irish context, both historically and at present.
These lesson plans cover a range of topics from our Solar System, telescopes, gravity and more… There are plenty of activities inside that are fun and simple to do, requiring just a few materials.
Skill development is a very important process and is becoming more and more desirable in education, so we have made sure that by doing these activities not only will students be building on their knowledge but they will become better equipped as young scientists.
Tune back in next week to hear from Nathan for our last Intern blog post.
Blog post written by Amy Clancy