News

Third Parisian EU-HOU training session completed with success

As part of  the  Lifelong Learning Programme, the thirddsc_1083b.jpg EU-HOU training session funded by the national Comenius agencies was held  at the University Pierre and Marie Curie in Paris from 6th to 10th June 2011. The first two sessions were held in November 2010 and January 2011. Participants came from Portugal, Romania, Bulgaria, Great Britain, Belgium, Greece, Spain and Poland. Over a period of five days, 24 teachers attended lectures on astronomy and tested exercises they can perform with pupils varying science backgrounds.


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The teachersdsc_0803.jpg measured distances to supernovae and Cepheids, became acquainted with solar observations, measured the impact craters on Earth and other solar system objects, looked for extrasolar planets using the radial velocity method and the method of transits. The main software used to solve practical tasks was the program SalsaJ.

 

Participants performed on-line observations at the remote 2.3 m radio telescope in Onsala , Sweden, which was built to study the neutral hydrogen in our Galaxy. They also made several on-line observations  with the  2 m optical telescopes "Faulkes ", which are located in Hawaii and  Australia. The location of these telescopes allows European students to conduct observations during day time, while these telescopes look at the night sky. After this training session, teachers are then able to apply for their own time on these telescopes and to perform their own observations with their pupils. Teachers also built spectroscopes  and Galileoscopes. Galileoscopes are small telescopes purchased by many European countries to celebrate the International Year of Astronomy 2009. Participants had fun building a spectroscope from items available in every home - paper tubes, razor blades, tape and old CDs. An additionnal attraction for everybody was a visit in the historicdsc_0700.jpg observatory at Sorbonne. A dinner at the first floor of the Eiffel Tower has been offered to the participants as part of the social program.

 

As a result of the EU-HOU training session, teachers established contacts amongst themselves. The aim of the training was not only to explore how to teach astronomy in an  interesting way, but also how to awake an interest in mathematics, physic, astronomy, communication technology among students. So that in the future we have not only new  astronomers  but also engineers who can build new bridges.


Upcoming trainings, for which teachers can apply, will be held  in March 2012 in Portugal and in April 2012 in Paris. Information can be found here. The deadline for application is 16 September 2011.