Blackrock Castle Observatory, Junior Cycle for Teachers, Science Foundation Ireland and ESERO Ireland present, in association with Birr Castle Science Centre, ‘Teaching Earth and Space in the Junior Cycle’ a one day conference for Junior Cycle Teachers.
Running as part of Space Week, this conference aims to support teachers with inspiring and practical approaches to embracing the Earth and Space strand of the Junior Cycle.
Keynote Speaker: Rosa Doran – Physicist, PhD Science Education and founder of the Galileo Teacher Training Program. This program aims to train Teachers in the effective use and transfer of astronomy education tools and resources into classroom science curricula. Rosa has a compelling passion for education and communicates her understanding of the role of teachers as inspiring and nurturing students, empowering them with the core skills needed for the 21st century STEM generation. Rosa will also form part of a panel discussion as part of the day’s program.
Workshop Sessions will include:
* ‘Earth and Space 101’ – Coming to terms with basic concepts and theories of our planet and universe. How can we model gravity and what can it tell us about black holes? Understanding the scale of the universe and how the solar system sits within it.
* ‘Teachers Sharing Space’ – the expertise of Junior Cycle Teachers brings us an opportunity to learn and share with teachers innovating in the field. This organised but informal meeting is an opportunity for teachers to share good practice, practical innovations and personal insights in teaching.
Down to Earth – A panel discussion
This open discussion, hosted by Dr Niall Smith of Cork Institute of Technology gives participants the opportunity to hear from figures from the forefront of STEM in Ireland and Irish graduates now working with the European Space Agency. The panel will focus on skills applications and highlight some of the projects open to students in Ireland such as CanSat and AstroPi.
Tour of Birr Castle and Science Centre
Birr Castle is an extraordinary place where over generations, the Parsons Family have been at the forefront of scientific discovery and invention. The Great Telescope, the Leviathan was. at one time, the largest telescope in the world and is still in situ at Birr. The grounds are now home to I-LOFAR, the Irish station in a European-wide network of state-of-the-art radio telescopes, used to observe the Universe at low frequencies (10-240 MHz). The tour will introduce teachers to the facilities of the science centre and grounds of this inspiring Discover Centre.
Lunch and refreshments are provided on the day from the award winning café on site.