Deep Space to Deep Impact: embedding astronomy in the new Curriculum for Wales

Lead Research Organisation: Cardiff University
Department Name: School of Physics and Astronomy

Abstract

Deep Space to Deep Impact (DS2DI) is a partnership between Cardiff University, National Museum of Wales, Open University Wales, Institute of Physics Wales, Cardiff Council, Techniquest, British Astronomical Association and the SME's AstroCymru, Thompson STEM Engagement (TSE) and First Light Optics (FLO).

It will work with professional and amateur astronomers and engage schools to gather data in support of scientific projects through the Comet Chasers programme. It will combine exciting 'deep space' observing opportunities (e.g. live solar imaging, planetary imaging, monitoring asteroids and comets using remote telescopes supporting pro-am research), with the 'deep impact' aspects of meteorites, impacts, craters, mass extinctions and climate catastrophe. DS2DI will engage school students and teachers in a thematic, skills-based educational programme covering ages 8-14 targeting and supporting the new Curriculum for Wales (CfW).

Taking a 'real time, real science, real scientists' approach that engages schools with access to observing facilities (Faulkes, NSO and new offerings from FLO, working with pro-am astronomers in the STFC-funded area of Solar system science), new bilingual classroom resources, supporting videos and teacher training, Deep Space 2 Deep Impact engages school students and teachers in a thematic, skills-based educational programme that directly supports engagement with the new CfW.

DS2DI brings together and updates existing resources we have previously produced (e.g. Mars-related resources in Mission2Mars, Down2Earth etc.), adapts them to fit the CfW, translates them into Welsh, trains teachers to use them and also opens up new opportunities to e.g. observing the Sun in real time using a live access facility in Spain available through FLO, or observing meteors with a pilot network of cameras based in schools, supporting the Global Meteor Network.

Whilst DS2DI targets schools in Wales in particular, classroom resources will be freely available to any UK school and can be adapted to match the curricula of other nations.

Publications

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