What do teachers need to lead enquiry-based projects in Astronomy?
14:30 - 14:45
In many European countries student interest in the STEM careers is low . What can an R&D center do to meet the challenge of engaging students with STEM? In the IAC we have been running the educational project PETeR since 2007. PETeR is an enquiry-based online lab (www.iac.es/peter) which dedicates observing time with professional robotic telescopes to activities and e-science projects aimed at primary and secondary students.
During the first years of the project the requests for observations were low and one of the reasons given by the teachers was their lack of knowledge to guide scientific projects in Astronomy. Therefore, in 2015 we began to carry out teacher training courses with three clear objectives: 1) to bring Astronomy closer to teachers in an enjoyable way so that they lose the fear of working on these topics with their students; 2) to provide them with the tools and knowledge so that they can introduce it in a practical way and develop real enquiry-based projects; and 3) to raise awareness of the project.
In these five years we have trained over 250 teachers, most of them from Spain, but also from other European countries, in several courses organized in collaboration with other institutions like NUCLIO, the Faulkes Telescope Project, the National Schools' Observatory and the Department of Education of the Canary Islands. In this talk I will present some of the results we have obtained and a summary of the lessons learnt so far.
 European Commission, Eurostat – Tertiary education statistics (2018)