5th Shaw-IAU Workshop on Astronomy for Education

The 5th Shaw-IAU Workshop on Astronomy for Education will be held from the 29th of November 2023 to the 1st of December 2023 (UTC time)

This year’s Shaw-IAU Workshop on Astronomy for Education focuses on two themes: one special practical astronomy education topic and one scientific topic. The special topic is astronomy education outside the classroom, looking at how astronomy can be taught in a diverse range of environments such as science centers, planetaria and youth clubs. The scientific topic is planetary atmospheres, both in the solar system and exoplanets as well as our own Earth. The meeting will be fully virtual.

Abstract submissions have closed

Speaker suggestions have closed

The deadline to register is the 29th of November 2023 at 07:00 (UTC time)

The sessions for the 5th Shaw-IAU Workshop on Astronomy for Education are listed below along with the talks

Astronomy Education in Practice

This session will focus on astronomy education activities in classroom settings. We invite abstracts that provide examples of what worked well and/or describe how activities were developed. We welcome abstracts in the context of teaching astronomy as its own subject as well as part of other subjects. Abstracts are invited for both primary/elementary and secondary/high school settings.

Evaluation and Astronomy Education Research

This session will focus on research and evaluation into the underlying learning methods and approaches in astronomy education. We invite abstracts that apply different research methods to explore teaching and learning in terms of (for example) higher-order thinking skills, systems thinking, inquiry-based learning, ‘being a scientist’, spatial thinking, and more. We also encourage research and evaluation that address diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in astronomy education.

Science Topic: Planetary Climate

A comprehensive understanding of how the climate has evolved in our home planet is key for us to discern between natural climate variations and those influenced by human activities. We can also apply this understanding to the diverse atmospheres of other planets in the Solar System and beyond. Combining this knowledge we refine our understanding of Earth’s climate system and gain deeper awareness of the factors driving climate change. This session aims to offer us a comprehensive exploration of planetary climate dynamics from the Earth to exoplanets, and how more informed decision-making can help us to develop effective strategies to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Special topic: Astronomy Education Beyond the Classroom

Astronomy is a multidisciplinary field of science, a characteristic that facilitates it to be explored in the classroom as it can be addressed through multiple perspectives. This is no surprise that astronomy is easily and therefore commonly explored in environments beyond the classroom. Within this session, we will explore the rich variety of ways and places where astronomy is used for educational purposes beyond the edutainment factor, such as planetaria, science centers and museums or in other settings such as clubs or youth groups. In addition, we will learn from initiatives developed by professional and amateur astronomers that bring astronomy to school settings to complement the curricula.

Teaching Methods and Tools

How can educators most effectively teach astronomy content? This is a broad question that depends on both the content, education level and resources available to the teacher. In this session we want to hear about the many innovative ways astronomy is being taught, with practical tips on how to implement them. This could be through simple demonstrations, naked-eye observing, online projects, astronomy education resources, using real scientific data in the classroom or remote observing as well as teaching methods developed to reach diverse audiences.