Herschel Space Telescope
The aims of the project were as follows:
- Raise awareness of the exciting challenges faced when astronomers need to get above the Earth's atmosphere - in particular to make infrared observations of star and galaxy formation with the Herschel Space Observatory
- Challenge secondary school students with extra-curricular material that shows how the electromagnetic spectrum beyond the visible can provide us with new information about the Universe
- Use the technology developed for the Herschel Space Observatory as a hook to engage students with physics and engineering topics
- Show practical applications of infrared radiation (e.g. thermal imaging and remote sensing)
- Help teachers address some of the more contemporary areas of astronomy and support their teaching by giving them access to the latest research information
- Show students the process of how science works by using the Herschel Space Observatory as a case study.
Summary of activity:
Working with scientists at Cardiff University & Imperial College, science made simple developed a 45 minute demonstration show exploring IR astronomy and the Herschel Space telescope. The show was delivered to schools in East Anglia & South Wales
An evaluation form was given to pupils with the aim of collecting data in line with the generic learning outcomes
What went well:
1: The translation of a difficult subject into an accessible and entertaining show
2: Working closely with active researchers to ensure accurate scientific content
3: Presenting cutting edge science and a current project to students
What was learned:
1: More research into the needs of teachers at year 9 would have helped development of the show.
2: Opportunities to have more time to update the show as the telescope became operational would have been useful. We are seeking futher funding to do this work.