National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand
All Sessions by Matipon Tangmatitham
Tuesday - September 17, 2019
Implementing project-based learning to Astronomy Education at the national level
12:15 - 12:30
We introduce a project-based learning as a supplementary extra-curricular activity to expand upon students’ prior interests in astronomy. Participating high school students from Thailand are engaged in a long-term project-based learning via astronomy research project. After an introductory workshop, students are encouraged to come up with their own topic and problem statement in which they embark on a 10-month journey to investigate, understand, and attempt to devise a predictive model that would describe the laws of nature based on their observations. A great emphasis is put on engaging the student to question and pursue their own interests and curiosities. Topics range from basic naked eye observations, invention, computer programming, to a more conventional observational astronomy using robotic telescope to perform astrometric and photometric measurements. Supervision is offered via a system of mentors/advisors but is strictly limited in favor for self-investigation. Progress and regular updates by the students are tracked remotely via social media. Students present their final works in an annual astronomical student conference at the national and international level. As a result, students are able to expand on their own curiosities, gain valuable hands-on experience on critical-thinking, problem-solving, and able to present their work in public. This on-going annual project has far-reaching consequences that is slowly transforming the overall landscape of Thailand secondary level astronomy education.