Einstein Schools Programme: A Project-Based Approach to Encourage Worldwide School Collaboration
16:45 - 17:00
Co-authors: Iris Nijman (NOAO), Mark Newhouse (NOAO), Jessica Rose (NOAO), Jorge Rivero Gonzalez (University of Leiden)
The Einstein Schools Programme, a global project of the International Astronomical Union 100 Years Celebration, helps schools all over the world to explore the exciting role of gravity in modern astronomy. It is designed to encourage in the spirit of IAU collaborations among schools worldwide. Einstein Schools launched on 1 October 2018, and currently more than 200 schools from 45 countries have signed up. The project encourages teachers to form a student team and it gives them the tools to carry out a plan to explore a topic of choice with their team. An important aspect of the programme is to provide each Einstein School with a science mentor who helps teachers to more confidently explore gravity and astronomy topics with their students, and who act as an inspiring role model for students. During the first year of the programme, we have focused on reaching schools all over the world, creating a website with high-quality resources on gravity and astronomy, communicating regularly with the teachers, finding mentors and pairing them up with schools, and developing a model for schools to become certified Einstein Schools. After this first phase, it is time to reflect on the successes and challenges of the programme. For example, how do we keep teachers from so many different countries engaged and motivated? How do we create a sense of community? In this talk, we want to discuss these successes and challenges and we want to share our plans and ideas for the future.