Teachers from five countries embark on a new astronomical adventure in the Canaries

Nayra Rodríguez, IAC astrophysicist divulger, during the presentation of the course "Astronomy Adventure in the Canary Islands". Credit: Inés Bonet (IAC)
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From 15th to 19th June 2019 the headquarters of the IAC, and the Guajara lecture theatres of the University of La Laguna will host the V International Summer Course “Astronomy Adventure in the Canary Islands, whose aim is to convey the passion for astrophysics, and to give teachers the knowledge and resources relevant to astronomy so that they can use them in the classroom, and can give a more practical and stimulating scientific and technical education to their students.

In this edition the theme is “The Message of Light” which is the leitmotiv of the lectures and workshops which have a highly participative style. During the course the teachers will learn, via active experiment-based practice, collaborative work and a multidisciplinary approach, the way we use light to understand the universe. The training also includes the use of a variety of tools and educational technologies, such as robotic telescopes, on-line laboratories, and access to the data bases of scientific archives. Activites outside the lecture room included in the programme are a training visit to the Teide Observatory (Tenerife) and an optional visit to the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory ( La Palma).

There are 30 teachers from Spain, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Italy and the United States attending the course. Nayra Rodríguez, outreach astrophysicist at the IAC, who is the coordinator and a lecturer on the course tells us that “It is a genuine pleasure for us, the organizers, to receive every year groups of teachers who are highly motivated and enthusiastic about astronomy, who really want to discover new methods and tools to stimulate the critical thinking of their students”. The international character of the course, which is given in English, is another of its attractions. “This training gives the participants an excellent opportunity to set up links with educational centres in other countries, which favour future collaborations for the development of joint educational projcts and exchanges” explains the coordinator.

The course is organized by the IAC, through its Unit of Communication and Scientific Culture, within the framework of the Educational Project with Robotic Telescopes (PETeR, for its initials in Spanish) and is carried out in collaboration with the Interactive Nucleus in Astronomy (NUCLIO, Poortugal), the Faulkes Telescope Project (Cardiff University, United Kingdom), the National Schools Observatory (Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom) and the CESAR educational initiative (ESAC, ESA-INTA-ISDEFE, Spain) all of them institutions and projects designed to promote scientific and technical vocations among school students and young people in general via astronomy-astrophysics and related subjects.

“The CESAR Team is happy to collaborate with this “mythical” and exciting adventure at the IAC which allows the teachers to use scientific data from the front-line telescopes of the IAC and from missions of the European Space Agency” says Beatriz González, the coordinator of development team for the scientific cases of the CESAR initiative.

More information: Programme of the course

Contact: Nayra Rodríguez Eugenio, peter [at] iac.es (peter[at]iac[dot]es)

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