Motivating Schools to drive an Astronomy Outreach programme.
Bringing space to the classroom
John Baruch
Open University; Department of Physical Sciences
Dr Ulrich Kolb, Open University, Department of Physical Sciences; Edward Hand; Dan Hedges; Dr Chris Tallon,University of Bradford School of Engineering and Informatics
The problems of schools paying for astronomy outreach is discussed. The science department is the normal driver for a secondary school to invite an astronomy outreach programme to visit the school. Science departments and their staff have many demands upon their time and their funds and it is only a small minority of schools who are prepared to invite in an outreach programme and pay for their time. This is completely changed when the invitation is driven by the schools’ recruitment programmes. All secondary schools now compete to recruit students. Their success impacts directly onto their finances. Their recruitment programmes are allocated a significant budget in which payment for a programme of astronomy outreach is trivial.
An astronomy outreach programme is described which has been developed with The Ogden Trust and provides a set of astronomy and physics projects for the school physics and astronomy sixth form students to take back to the years 5 and 6 of their old primary school. The primary school children are inspired with the science activities of their older peers and their career visions and they associate this inspirational programme with the secondary school. The programme also effectively delivers science subject knowledge CPD for the primary school teacher and raises the fraction of children who aspire to take up a STEM career.
09:00 - 10:30