I-LOFAR Education Centre/School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin
All Sessions by Áine Flood
Monday - September 16, 2019
Astronomical Midlands: Engaging Rural Communities in Ireland with Radio Astronomy
11:30 - 11:45
The Irish Midlands has a rich heritage in astronomy, a fact that is not well known in this region of higher than average unemployment and low uptake of post-secondary education. We have therefore embarked on a regional engagement project – the Astronomical Midlands (AstroLands) – which uses the recently constructed Irish Low Frequency Array (I-LOFAR; lofar.ie) radio telescope and I-LOFAR Education Centre at Birr Castle in the Irish Midlands to connect with students, teachers and members of the public in local, rural communities in the Midlands. In this presentation, we will describe our three key initiatives: Space4Exploration: Developing an engaging, inspirational, and multi-use exhibition space in the I-LOFAR Education Centre; Space4Students: Day-long and week-long workshops and camps at the I-LOFAR Education Centre to run during school terms and holidays for students aged 10 to 14; Space4Teachers: Create and run Continuous Professional Development workshops for primary and secondary school teachers based around the Irish National Junior Certificate (12-15 year olds) theme of Earth and Space. With these programmes our ambition is to inspire and support teachers, students and the general public to engage with the science, engineering and radio astronomy of LOFAR.