2016 schedule

Sat 13:30-14:00
Theatre 106

The need for an Australian Astronomy and Space Science Education Network

Paul Floyd

Astronomy & Space Science Education in Australian Prep to Year 12 schools is not preparing our students for their future employment options. The causes are multiple and can include:

  • a crowded curriculum
  • a lack of teacher knowledge and/or interest
  • a scarcity of quality, easy to use and accessible Southern hemisphere focused astronomy resources, and
  • the speed of change in astronomy, space science and technology 

When covered, the topics might be glossed over and can be covered in worst case scenarios in a superficial manner. At worst, for astronomy this could even be through the reading of a brief few pages of a Science textbook. Students will likely leave school not having experienced emotionally engaging activities such as looking at Saturn’s rings through a telescope. 

The author strongly believes that it is time to establish a dedicated Australian Astronomy & Space Science Network to address the above issues.

The presentation will briefly look at the lessons learnt from his interactions with teachers over the past 25 years through co-convening numerous astronomy education events. These have included the Brisbane Astronomical Society’s Queensland Astronomy Education Conference and activities undertaken through his ongoing employment as a classroom teacher. The insights gained will hopefully inspire you to contribute to the establishment of an Australian Astronomy & Space Science Network.

Note that the opinions expressed in this presentation will be that of the author and do not reflect the opinion of his employer.