Plates For Education, Scotland

Teaching astronomy as part of other subjects in secondary schools – astronomy as a “gateway science”
4th Shaw-IAU Workshop
Wednesday Nov. 16, 2022
UTC: 8:55 a.m. - 9:05 a.m.
Thursday Nov. 17, 2022
UTC: 1:55 p.m. - 2:05 p.m.

We present a project that embeds physical artefacts from astrophysics research in secondary school education in Scotland, and trains physics teachers to engage their pupils with astronomy and research data. The Sloan Digital Sky Survey has produced one of the largest maps of galaxies in our Universe, using 80cm aluminium plates to position optical fibres. After their single use, these plates have no value for research - but huge value in the classroom. Following earlier 'Plates for Education' activities in the US, we provide secondary teachers with a plate, training, classroom resources and research data. We also present a parallel Education research project, assessing the impact of teacher professional learning on their wellbeing and physics identity.

About Simon Christopher Reynolds

Simon Reynolds is the outreach officer for the School of Physics & Astronomy at the University of St Andrews. After completing a masters in Physics at Imperial College, London and a PhD in Astrophysics at the University of Edinburgh, Simon has been a professional science communicator since 2010.

Watch a recording of this talk (external link)