UK Curriculum Support for astroEDU Activities
During the summer of 2015, two interns joined astroEDU team, with Edward Gomez at Cardiff University, thanks to seed funding from Royal Astronomical Society (Paul Ruffle bequest fund). One of them was Emma Foxell from Kent, UK, a graduate Natural Sciences at UCL, majoring in Astrophysics. Emma worked mainly on providing UK curriculum support to astroEDU activities, but also tested 3 activities in classrooms in Wales.
Emma shares her experience with astroEDU;
“I have been working with the astroEDU team this summer, helping them to develop their activities online. The availability of wide range of activities suitable for all ages, from 4 to 19 years + is impressive. As part of my placement, I researched UK curriculum connections for the activities available online, to make it easier for teachers to incorporate the astroEDU activities into their teaching. In the spirit of the collaborative reviewing process, I have been looking at the activity evaluations, to see if these can be made even better and adding a couple of suggestions on ways to assess the student’s understanding of the material covered in the session. I have also been looking at activities in the development process, acting on the reviewers’ comments before they are sent to be reviewed again.
Apart from being engaged in the activity development process, I also visited schools, alongside Cardiff’s Universe in the Classroom programme, to test out some of the astroEDU activities in the classroom. I particularly enjoyed running the ‘Design your Alien’ activity with year 5s at Ysgol Iolo Morganwg and year 4s at Townhill Community School. We discussed what life needs to survive on our planet and the conditions on other worlds in the solar system. Using this information, students designed their aliens. Their explanations to the class on how their alien was going to survive on their given planet or moon were creative and wide ranging. Feedback from teachers was very positive and from testing out the activity we have ideas for minor enhancements it to make the activity even better.”
Apart from her passion for astronomy and outreach, she’s a Doctor Who fanatic.