Welcome back,

Can you believe week three is already over? Once again Nathan and I are working on our respective projects. The last two or more weeks I have been working on our CPD resources, which stands for continuing professional development. These are resources aimed at teachers but are free to use for anyone. It is a collection of engaging lessons and activities all about space and science. For those of you who may not know, the Junior Certificate science curriculum has changed as of 2015. The change includes more focus on the Nature of Science and now contains a section devoted to Earth and Space! 

Distances in our solar system portrayed more accurately  Credit: James O’Donoghue/ NASA imagery

We are aiming to provide assistance for teachers (or parents) who are not confident in the area of space science or are just looking for some relevant resources. An example of which is above, the lesson focuses on misconceptions around the distances of planets in our solar system. These lessons and activities span from Irish astronomy, gravity, the Moon and more. As mentioned the focus is of relevance to the Junior Cycle, however they are most certainly adjustable to suit older or younger students. These will be up on our website soon so keep an eye out…

This is an example of just one of the fun activities

A fun activity demonstrating the formation of the Moon’s craters.

Exclusive news:

At the moment we are working on some virtual summer camps which you can find at here. There are three age/class ranges; 5-6th class, Junior Cycle and Leaving Cycle. There will be virtual tours, special guest speakers and fun activities. It’s something very new and exciting and gives us a chance to reach out to students further away than we could in a physical summer camp, which would not be feasible in the current situation anyway. We can’t wait to get started, but numbers are limited so make sure to get your place, you don’t want to miss it!

In times like these it is great to see that we, as a scientific community, can still encourage STEM education and come up with creative solutions to the challenges posed. So far the internship being online has allowed me to focus on developing certain skills and devoting my time to projects that we might not have had the time to do otherwise. As a physics education student this is giving me an excellent opportunity to do more research on astrophysics and I am learning a lot, which is always a bonus. 

As the lockdown restrictions lift the possibility of opening to the public is looking good. Whilst getting to do work at home is nice, I would like more company than my puppy, however cute he may be (see below). I can’t wait to get out there and meet some of the budding scientists and astronomy enthusiasts. 

My co-worker, Koby, as proof of cuteness. #virtualdogofILOFAR

Check back next week to hear what Nathan has been up to in the meantime!

Blog post written by Amy Clancy