The teacher training provided by GalileoMobile combines a distance-training programme with teacher-training workshops, so that teachers are fully equipped to lead the educational activities to be carried-out at the schools during their participation in the Constellation programme.
The distance-training programme has been designed especially for Constellation by professional educators. A key aspect of the programme is its flexibility; each teacher’s training will be specifically tailored to suit their level of competence and degree of access to the internet. For this reason, an initial assessment of each teacher’s level of astronomical knowledge is required.
The teacher-training workshops, which will take place during the school visits, will allow the GalileoMobile team to identify and solve any problems which may have arisen during the distance-training phase, and help the teachers consolidate and expand on the topics covered.
Space Exploration is a four-month programme of astronomical outreach activities, to be carried-out at the schools under the supervision of the teachers. Through their participation, pupils will:
- become familiar with astronomical concepts such as stars, planets, constellations, and galaxies,
- learn how to design an experiment, conduct it and judge its results using scientific methods,
- learn how to communicate and debate their findings to their local team and others,
- learn more about their cultural heritage and about other cultures through astronomy.
The activities are grouped into the following subjects: 1) the Sun and the Moon, 2) planets, 3) stars and constellations, and 4) galaxies and the Universe. In every school, pupils will be divided into four science teams — one for each subject covered — and the activities relevant to each subject will be carried-out.
The results from each experiment will be uploaded onto this website, to allow teams to compare with those working on the same subject in other Constellation network schools.
The Space Exploration programme will therefore allow the pupils to learn how to collaborate within a team, organise and present their scientific findings, cross-reference their results with those obtained by other teams, and collaborate with peers from different countries.
Visits to the Schools
GalileoMobile will visit the schools, spending two days in each. During the visits, we will organise teacher-training workshops, activities with the children, and public talks and sky observations involving the local community.
These expeditions play a very important role in Constellation, by a) allowing the GalileoMobile team to identify and solve any problems which may have arisen during the distance-training programme, b) helping to strengthen the bonds between the individual network schools, and c) providing the teachers and pupils with an opportunity to celebrate their achievements and share their work with the visiting GalileoMobile team and local community.
It is crucial that the progress made at the schools during Constellation is consolidated through continued science education activities. This will be achieved by:
- Maintaining this online platform after completion of Constellation. Schools can then build on their previous work by collaborating on future educational activities.
- Suggesting follow-up activities that best suit the interests of each school, drawing on our previous experience from former expeditions.
- Monitoring the progress of schools after Constellation via the online platform and local collaborators. This is essential if we are to ensure that schools remain motivated and effective.
- Providing the assistant educators that have accompanied GalileoMobile with the skills required to take part in future science outreach programmes.