Space as a Context for Teaching Science


13442567_10154224243388582_1809773436347820931_o_2.jpgThe Faulkes team were at a CPD event ran by ESERO-UK and STFC in Oxfordshire this week. The CPD, titled “Space as a context for teaching science: the Gaia spacecraft mission to map the Milky Way” ran a series of workshops based on ESA’s Gaia mission and its application to the STEM subjects.

The event took place at the Science and Technology Facilities Council Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and welcomed both primary and secondary school teachers. Teachers were introduced to the science behind the Gaia satellite, its mission objectives, the types of objects it is observing and how it makes its measurements.

The FT team led a session on how schools can use the Faulkes Telescopes and LCOGT network to perform follow-up observations of some of the objects detected by Gaia and sent to the Gaia Alerts. Teachers were given a set of observations of a supernova taken by the telescope network and were able to use the free image processing software, SalsaJ to carry out photometric measurements. With their data, the teachers were able to produce the light curve shown in the image below.


At the end of the workshop, the teachers were given a tour of some of the cutting edge facilities at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratories.

The FT team have been working on developing a series of educational materials based on the Gaia mission, some of them can be found here.

Keep track of all CPD and other events the Faulkes Telescope team are involved in by checking our upcoming events page here.