Take them to the stars and hook them into science!
Whether your students are Preschoolers, Year 7 or Year 12, astronomy is a proven means to engage them in doing real science. Introducing younger students to astronomy often develops a lifelong interest in this fascinating hobby, while for some it can lead to a strong interest in science as a career.
Many outcomes from across all QSA 1 to 10 Science Syllabus’ Strands can be taught using astronomy and related space sciences as the focus organizer. For example, when seeking to develop students’ understanding of life and its characteristics, what student will not be immediately interested by the concept of exobiology (extra-terrestrial life)?
There are so many questions to pose which link the broad spectrum of scientific disciplines and hence the syllabus’ Strands. How would we recognize a living organism which has evolved on another planet? What characteristics could define it conclusively as living? What might extra-terrestrial life look like if it exists? Would you expect it to use DNA for its genetic code? How might it sustain itself? If life exists out there, what technology do we need to locate it? In researching, discussing, debating and sharing ideas with others, students naturally will explore the links across many of the syllabus Strands’ Key Concepts.
If students do this investigation within the scenario of their being the astronomers who first discover extra-terrestrial life, they enthusiastically undertake astronomical observations, investigations and difficult mathematical calculations in order to develop their scientific reports which they subject to peer review by presenting them at a scientific conference or poster session (which they organize).
The QSN website provides a link to the AAQ and other science oriented websites On Thursday 13th June, his Excellency the Governor of Queensland, The Honourable Paul de Jersey AC officially launched the Queensland Science Network (QSN). The QSN is a collaboration between Queensland's knowledge-based science societies to promote science events and activities and to share knowledge. New groups are added by decision of the Council of the Royal Society of Queensland, on the advice of the existing member groups. One index page has been allocated to each member society, along with a central News stand, Events calendar and Resources…Read More
There is nothing like looking through a telescope to inspire excitement in the young and the young at heart. The Education Section of the AAQ will set up a variety of telescopes so school children and their parents, as well as other community groups, can observe and learn about the night sky. This can be done at your school or at a mutually agreed location (more common for community groups). We generally have a number of telescopes available, which helps people understand the various types of telescope and how they work. Our astronomers will be happy to talk to you…Read More
Originally created to help prepare for the 2012 total solar eclipse in Queensland, this site has a variety of resources for students and teachers, as well as lots of information about eclipses and how to safely observe them. Development of this material was a joint venture between the Astronomical Association of Queensland (AAQ) and the Science Teachers Association of Queensland (STAQ). http://eclipse.aaq.org.auRead More