IAU astroEDU Honoured with Science Education Award
IAU astroEDU, a platform for peer-reviewed, open-access astronomy education activities managed by UNAWE and LCOGT, has been recognised for its educational value by Scientix — the European Network of Science Education. Sunday 26 October at the Scientix Conference, which brought together more than 600 educators, astroEDU was awarded the first Scientix Award for Best Resources in Science, Technology, Mathematics and Engineering. The award highlights the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics resource Star in a Box, an activity that explores the life-cycle of stars and which was developed by the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network (LCOGT) for high school students.
The Star in a Box web application was created to provide teachers with an exciting way of teaching a fundamental, yet possibly unfamiliar topic, in a fun way that has a high visual impact. It animates stars with different starting masses as they change during their lives. Some stars live fast-paced, dramatic lives; others change very little for billions of years. The app visualises the changes in mass, size, brightness and temperature for all these different stages.
Scientix introduced the Scientix Awards to showcase the best educational resources that are freely available for educators and teachers. More than a hundred resources from all around Europe were evaluated by a panel of 15 teachers and educators. The evaluations panel focused on the pedagogical added value, openness, curriculum integration, clarity and use of technology.
“The Scientix Award is a great recognition to the astroEDU approach to improve science resources” says Pedro Russo, from Leiden Observatory and astroEDU managing editor. astroEDU was launched less than a year ago and is a platform that allows educators to discover, review, distribute, improve and remix astronomy education activities. It offers a free peer-review service by professionals in education and science. astroEDU is a project of the Office of Astronomy for Development from the International Astronomical Union and managed by Leiden Observatory and Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network (LCOGT) .
Scientix, a European Union initiative, promotes and supports a Europe-wide collaboration among STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) teachers, education researchers, policymakers and other STEM education professionals. The project built an online portal to collect and present European STEM education projects and their results, and organised several teacher workshops. Scientix aims to reach out to national teacher communities, and contribute to the development of national strategies for wider uptake of inquiry-based and other innovative approaches to science and maths education.