Schools and Observatories

Provision of lecturing material for Scottish secondary schools

Astronomy is often a minor or even missing part of the standard school curriculum in many European countries. Obviously, astronomy needs to compete here with other physical disciplines which are equally important. However, astronomy is special in a way that it can teach us about very large and very small spatial scales and timescales; about light and particles; and about studying the universe with wavelengths our eyes can see or cannot see, without being able to touch the objects of study.
In 2015, a new curriculum for Advanced Higher Physics in Scottish secondary schools was released which includes, for the first time, stellar physics and general relativity.
In November 2015, PI Woitke was invited to provide in-service training for teachers (INSET meeting), reaching about 60 high-school physics teachers in Fife, Scotland. After the three training sessions, it became clear that the school teachers are right now looking actively for suitable lecturing material, so Woitke created this webpage. The link provides some selected lecturing material covering the sun, basic stellar parameters (stellar radius, luminosity, effective temperature, spectral flux, Stefan-Boltzmann law, apparent and absolute brightness), basic assumptions in stellar atmosphere and stellar structure theory, including nuclear fusion reactions, position and classification in the Hertzsprung-Russell (H-R) diagram, as well as some insight into stellar evolution, final stages of stellar evolution, and the cosmic cycle of matter. It includes a selection of simple astronomical questions about stars and provides answers in an extra document.

 


Outreach Activities in Schools and Observatories

2015

18 Nov 2015   Blaauw Observatory, Groningen, NL

Sterrenkijkdagen – Observations of planets and deep sky objects
Stefano Antonellini


13 Nov 2015   Kirkcaldy High School, UK

Teaching of Stellar Physics in the ‘Advanced Higher Physics’ course
In-service training for secondary-school physics teachers in Fife, UK
Peter Woitke


7 Nov 2015   Observatory, University of St Andrews, UK

Open Night at the St Andrews Observatory
Laura Rigon, Nathalie Thureau


26 Oct 2015   Leslie Primary School, Glenrothes, UK

Planetarium Show
Laura Rigon


21 Oct 2015   Blaauw Observatory, Groningen, NL

Sterrenkijkdagen – Open Night at the Observatory
Stefano Antonellini


23 Sep 2015   Blaauw Observatory, Groningen, NL

Sterrenkijkdagen – Observations of planets and deep sky objects
Stefano Antonellini


2 Apr 2015   Hanzehogeschool, Groningen, NL

Techniek Toernooi Noordelijke Provincies (Juror groep 3-4)
Inga Kamp


28 Mar 2015   Kapteyn Institute, University of Groningen, NL

Nationale Sterrenkijkdagen – Space Expo Guide
Inga Kamp


20 Mar 2015   RUG/Infoversum, University of Groningen, NL

Solar Eclipse event
Inga Kamp


7 Mar 2015   Observatory, University of St Andrews, UK

Open Night at the St Andrews Observatory
Laura Rigon


7 Feb 2015   Observatory, University of St Andrews, UK

University of St Andrews: Space School
Laura Rigon


22 Jan 2015   Scout Group, Cupar, UK

Planets and Constellations
Laura Rigon
 


2014

10 Dec 2014   Blaauw Observatory, Groningen, NL

Sterrenkijkdagen – Observations of planets and deep sky objects
Stefano Antonellini
 


29 Nov 2014   Observatory, University of St Andrews, UK

Open Night at the St Andrews Observatory
John Ilee, Laura Rigon


28 Nov 2014   Astronomical Institute, Amsterdam, NL

Sterrenkijkavonden – Ask an astronomer
Michiel Min


12 Nov 2014   Blaauw Observatory, Groningen, NL

Sterrenkijkdagen – Observations of planets and deep sky objects
Stefano Antonellini


8 Nov 2014   Phlippus Lansbergen Sterrenwacht, Middelburg, NL

Rosetta
Rens Waters


21 Oct 2014   Day Care Centre in Amsterdam, NL

Astronomy talk for children – Comets
Michiel Min


15 Oct 2014   Cardenden Primary School, Cardenden, UK

Rosetta & Philae
John Ilee


4 Oct 2014   Astronomical Institute, Amsterdam, NL

Open Day – Make your own comet
Michiel Min


5 Jun 2014   Methilhill Primary School, Methil, UK

Planetarium Show
Laura Rigon


25 Apr 2014   Astronomical Institute, Amsterdam, NL

Sterrenkijkavonden – Stargazing
Michiel Min


17 Mar 2014   St Columba Primary School, Cupar, UK

Planets and Constellations
Laura Rigon


12 Mar 2014   Blaauw Observatory, Groningen, NL

Sterrenkijkdagen – Observations of planets and deep sky objects
Stefano Antonellini


8 Mar 2014   Observatory, University of St Andrews, UK

Open Night at the St Andrews Observatory
John Ilee, Laura Rigon


19 Feb 2014   Blaauw Observatory, Groningen, NL

Sterrenkijkdagen – Observations of planets and deep sky objects
Stefano Antonellini


29 Jan 2014   Bell Baxter High School, Cupar, UK

Lab in a Lorry
Laura Rigon


15 Jan 2014   Blaauw Observatory, Groningen, NL

Sterrenkijkdagen – Observations of planets and deep sky objects
Stefano Antonellini
 


2013

30 Nov 2013   Observatory, University of St Andrews, UK

Ask an astronomer about Star and Planet Formation
Peter Woitke


20 Sep 2013   Cardenden Primary School, Cardenden, UK

Planetarium Show
John Ilee


17 Sep 2013   Praedinius Gymnasium, Groningen, NL

Formation of planets
Inga Kamp
 


2012

1 Dec 2012   Observatory, University of St Andrews, UK

Ask an astronomer about Star and Planet Formation
Peter Woitke


12 Nov 2012   Cardenden Primary School, Cardenden, UK

Stars & Planets
John Ilee


31 Oct 2012   George Watson’s College, Edinburgh, UK

Women in Science
Laura Rigon


26 Sep 2012   Thornton Primary School, Thornton, UK

Planetarium Show
Laura Rigon


22-24 Jun 2012   Royal Highland Show, Ingliston, Edinburgh, UK

Planetarium Show
Laura Rigon