Welcome to the second edition of the CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science Education Newsletter for 2011. In this issue you'll find information about:
If you have any questions about CSIRO's astronomy education and outreach
activities, please don't hesitate to contact me.
CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science
There are still a few places available for this workshop but registrations close Friday 13 May:
Come and spend three stimulating and rewarding days learning new approaches to astronomy teaching at the iconic Parkes Observatory. Astronomy from the Ground Up! is our annual teacher workshop for all science teachers on 20 - 22 May 2011. It targets the content and skills of junior Science syllabi from around Australia whilst also providing depth and enrichment for teachers of senior physics. Teachers tour the radio telescope, meet professional astronomers and have lectures on different aspects of astronomy including some of the latest discoveries.
Emphasis is placed on practical and hands-on activities to take back and use in the classroom. You will also explore the wonderful dark night skies with optical telescopes. Participants receive an extensive range of resources. The workshop also fulfils the requirements of the international Galileo Teacher Training Program (external link).
Discover the SKA & Radioastronomy teacher workshop & free public talk in Brisbane,
This is a one-day workshop is presented by CASS Education Officer Rob Hollow forllowed by a free public talk by CSIRO Astronomer Dr Carole Jackson.
Date: Thursday 16 June
Time: 9.30 am - 4:30 pm
Venue: CSIRO Education, Ground Floor, Ecosciences Precinct, 41 Boggo Road, Dutton Park, QLD
Cost: $60/head for STAQ members, $75 for non-members (GST ex) - includes materials, morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea
Target audience: Year 6 - Year 12 teachers
Bookings: Essential as space is limited to 25 teachers. Please contact CSIRO Education on (07) 3833 5555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Overview of workshop:
- Introduction to radio astronomy
- Overview of the SKA & ASKAP projects
- Using authentic astronomical data in the classroom
- Implementing astronomy sections of the Australian Curriculum
- Includes resources.
Following the workshop CSIRO Astronomer Dr Carole Jackson will be presenting a free public talk:
Title: Discover SKA – Australia and the biggest telescope ever built? Date: Thursday 16th June 2011
Time: 4.45pm for 5.00pm start. Seminar will conclude at 6.00pm Location: Ecosciences Precinct, 41 Boggo Road, Dutton Park - Seminar Room, Ground Floor
Audience: General public
Bookings: Essential as although attendance is free catering has been arranged so please RSVP to email@example.com by COB Tuesday 14th June.
SKA public talk at CSIRO Discovery Centre, 5 May, Canberra
CASS Education Officer Rob Hollow will be giving a free public talk at CSIRO's Discovery Centre in Canberra at 6 pm on 5 May.
The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) - The World’s Largest Radio Telescope
Clunies Ross Street
Acton ACT 2601
Find out about the SKA project, CSIRO’s Australian SKA Pathfinder telescope, and the science that it hopes to deliver. More details...
CASS Education Officer Rob Hollow will be presenting the following workshop sessions at CONASTA 60 in Darwin in July:
- Session DE, Astromining- Using Astronomy Datasets to Develop Critical Inquiry Skills, 14.00 - 16.05 am on Tuesday 12 July
- Session GH: The Pocket Solar System, Galileo Teacher Training Program Astronomy Activities for the Classroom, 11.45 - 13.40 on Wednesday 13 July.
CASS astronomer Professor Ray Norris will be delivering a Keynote address at 10.30 on Tuesday 12 July. There will also be other astronomy/space-related workshops from other presenters during the conference.
For more details and registration visit the CONASTA site.
Dinner with the Stars at VSSEC,
an SKA Event
Join Dr Phil Diamond, leader of CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, for dinner at the Victorian Space Science Education Centre (VSSEC). Discover the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) and why it is important for Australia. Enjoy a fully catered three course meal and discuss what humanity can do with this new knowledge of the stars and the universe.
Date: Thursday 19th May
Time: 6:45pm-9:30pm (please arrive on time)
Cost: $30 per head
Venue:Victorian Space Science Education Centre
Booking: Please register on-line
This event is suitable for ages 15 and above.
For more details and bookings visit the VSSEC website.
The Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex (CDSCC) is a part of NASA’s Deep Space Network (DSN) and is managed in Australia by CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science (CASS).
The Complex has an excellent visitor education centre which is open to the public 7 days a week, 9am to 5pm and entry is free.
The Visitor Centre runs fully-guided education programs for students (K-12). A typical 90-minute program covers the history and role of CDSCC in space exploration, looks at the robotic spacecraft missions that are exploring the Solar System and beyond, and helps students and educators learn how they can make their own discoveries.
Bookings are essential as the popular education programs fill fast.
Programs run Mon-Fri, from 9am to 4.30pm, with last booking at 3pm (other times by special arrangement).
Contact: Glen Nagle on (02) 6201 7828/7968 (bh).
2011 has been a busy year for the PULSE@Parkes program. We held our first school-based session in February at Penrith Anglican College. Students from the college were joined by others from Glenmore Park High School and Caroline Chisholm College in a highly successful session.
British high school students used the Parkes telescope in a PULSE@Parkes session held at Oxford University in April. As this was during the English school holidays the students individually nominated to take part.
The first PULSE@Parkes Teacher Scholarship winner, Stephen Broderick from St Ursula's College, Toowoomba spent a week working with the PULSE@Parkes team at Marsfield in March. Stephen is currently developing some new education resources for the program. This should be available early in Term 3.
Observing slots are still available. We currently have vacancies for observing sessions on 19 July and 14 September. Interested schools can apply online. These sessions will be held at our headquarters at marsfield in Sydney.
Don't forget, you can follow along with any observing session via our twitter feed; PULSEatParkes and can now view a live data feed and webcam views from Parkes during an observing session.
Our next observing session is 12.00pm - 2pm AEST on Friday 10 June.
50th Anniversary of Parkes Radio Telescope
The CSIRO Parkes Observatory is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Parkes radio telescope by giving members of the public a rare opportunity to tour the Dish. On the weekend of the 8th and 9th of October 2011, the Parkes Observatory will host an open weekend, offering guided tours up and through the famous radio telescope. The open days showcase the achievements of the Observatory as a world-leading astronomical telescope as well as its roles in supporting some of the most significant space missions in history.
In addition to telescope tours there will be regular talks by astronomers on a range of astronomy related topics, Q & A sessions with astronomy and engineering experts, a look behind the scenes of the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP), and many other fun family activities.
On the Saturday evening (8th October), CSIRO in conjunction with the Macquarie Philharmonia, and Parkes Under the Stars Inc, will present 'Opera at the Dish - From Bellini to Broadway - an enchanting evening of opera and musical theatre’, to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the telescope.
For further details visit the Parkes Observatory Open Days website.
Scientriffic looks to the stars
The May-June 2011 issue of Scientriffic, features the SKA and contains other astronomy articles. Scientriffic magazine for ages 7+ is one of two magazines produced by CSIRO’s Double Helix Science Club. It is published every two months and is packed with science news, feature articles, hands-on experiments, comics, competitions and brain-bending puzzles.
Get your copy of Scientriffic from selected newsagents Australia-wide or by purchasing a Double Helix Science Club membership.
To find out more about Scientriffic, the Double Helix Science Club and other programs and resources provided by CSIRO Education visit the website.
Vastly more sensitive than the world’s best existing radio-telescopes, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) will be one of the largest and most ambitious international science projects ever devised. It will help us answer fundamental questions about the evolution of the Universe.
The SKA itself will be over fifty times more sensitive than the world’s largest existing radio telescopes. It will be able to see back to the birth of the Universe and the emergence of the first stars and galaxies.
The SKA project will need many engineers, IT specialists, astronomers and technologists over its estimated fifty-year life. It will lead to the development of industries and research opportunities that we have not yet even considered.
In support of the Australia and New Zealand Square Kilometre Array (anzSKA) bid to host the SKA, the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (DIISR) invites teachers, schools and their communities to participate in Discover SKA – a festival of 500 events across Australia and New Zealand between 1 April and 30 June 2011.
Discover SKA aims to raise awareness and understanding of the SKA project, and is coordinated by Questacon (The National Science and Technology Centre) and the New Zealand Fonterra Science Roadshow.
It provides teachers and schools an opportunity to share in the growing excitement around the SKA and join with our nation’s science, government, industry and education leaders in highlighting the significance and benefits of the SKA project to the students of today, who will be the leaders of tomorrow.
There are a variety of ways you can get your students, class, year level, school or community involved in Discover SKA from simple classroom lessons to whole-school events. It is up to you and the resources available to you. The SKA will lead to advances in information technology, renewable energy, manufacturing and other areas, providing a wealth of topic areas to explore. Suggestions for involvement include:
- Complete lessons or investigations from the Window to the Universe teaching resource
- Invite a guest speaker or host a scientist-in-residence. Assistance with sourcing guest speakers is available if required.
- Plan an excursion to a Planetarium or Observatory in your local area, coupled with a class discussion about the SKA.
- Link with a local amateur astronomy society and hold a stargazing evening for students and parents.
- Participate in astronomy-based teacher professional development sessions such as those hosted by CASS.
- Hold a renewable energy challenge and explore different forms of renewable energy (linking to potential power sources for the SKA)
- Hold a school movie night and show radio astronomy-based movies such as The Dish or Contact, and invite a guest speaker to introduce the evening and speak about the SKA.
- Encourage students to attend Discover SKA events in your area.
The www.ska.edu.au website has a wealth of information about the SKA, including the Windows to the Universe educational resource for teaching years 9-10 available for free download.
The Discover the SKA website contains information, materials and resources, along with an event calendar and registration form.
For more information or to register your interest in participating, contact:
Annie Harris, Discover SKA Project Coordinator
Ph 02 6270 2875 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Gemini Schools Astronomy Contest
In 2011, students in Australia have a chance to use an hour of observing time on one of the world's largest optical telescopes, the 8-metre Gemini South telescope in the Andes Mountains of Chile.
How? By picking an object in the Southern sky and writing a winning explanation of why it would be interesting to digitally photograph.
The contest is open to any Australian students in Years 5-12, as well as inter-school groups and clubs of students, provided each entry has a clearly designated submitting school and teacher. Entries may be written individually or in groups, but must be submitted by a teacher.
Entries must be received by Friday 13 May 2011.
For more details visit the contest website.
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