Astronomy Day in Schools
We invite you to explore the following guidelines that can support the outreach and engagement activities conducted as part of the activities related to the project.
1) Make contact with the director or coordinator of the school to ask about the interest in such activities;
2) Involve the teachers initially by asking if they would have any suggestions or if they would agree with a suggestion brought by the proposer;
3) Such activities can be directed to a particular class, series, level of education or age group, linked to one or several subjects with a certain content or theme and with the participation or accompaniment of the teacher;
4) We encourage you to explore our Resources page for Astronomy Day in Schools to discover a wide variety of activities that you can conduct and resources to support them. Some activities that can be organised include but are not limited to:
- Lectures, presentation of video or film about astronomical topics;
- Discussions about careers in astronomy
- Daylight observation of the Sun by appropriate projection or filters*;
- Monitoring the shadow of a vertical object (gnomon) in an open courtyard identifying its characteristics on that day (determination of the local meridian) and proposing the same for other days of the year, if the teacher can do with the same group;
- Storytelling, debate on a certain topic by astronomers and/or teachers or in conversation with students;
- Construction of instruments such as kits of sundials, homemade telescopes, etc.
- Exhibitions, construction and activities on models of the Sun-Earth-Moon System, sizes and distances of the planets of the Solar System, Stars, etc.;
- Exhibitions of instruments, collections or some meteorites, books, photographs, celestial maps;
- Use of software and websites; artistic activities such as: drawings, comics, plays or sketches, the recitation of poems, listening or playing songs with astronomical themes;
- Night observations in times which the school allows or promotes with students, teachers, parents, families and community for observations of the sky with the naked eye or with telescopes taken at school or even where the school can take its students and teachers to observe the Moon, if visible, planets, stars, clusters, nebulae etc.
- Lectures can also be held for teachers on astronomical contents and suggesting teaching materials, books, software, instruments, websites etc.
5) We encourage the organisation of inclusive events. You can find some general pointers for organizing, promoting, and running an inclusive event here.
6) Following your first activity, we strongly encourage the visiting astronomers to maintain connections with the school they visited. This can be done by:
- Promoting and supporting the formation of an astronomy club.
- Maintaining a space in the school for collection, meetings aimed at cooperation and future activities.
-Scheduling future meetings or activities for the same year.
-Planning future activities for this and other schools in the following years. For example, you can organise an activity during the week of the March 2020 equinox.
-Encourage and advertise such efforts to multiply them and promote such actions to improve astronomy education for future generations.
*Never observe the Sun directly without the aid of suitable filters or projection methods, as it may cause blindness.