• Royal Observatory Greenwich
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Astronomy and Space Physics: Teaching Secondary Science

Upgrade your secondary science lessons, boost your knowledge of space physics, and help students build key career skills.

444 enrolled on this course

Astronomy and Space Physics: Teaching Secondary Science

Broaden your science teaching skill set with the Royal Observatory Greenwich

Our world is increasingly driven by science and technology and, as a result, STEM is becoming a growing area of focus in education.

On this course, you’ll learn how to impart key physics, space science, and astronomy knowledge while teaching transferable skills that will support your students in their schooling and career to come.

Explore how young people perceive science – and what this means for STEM teaching

Science is a compulsory subject at school, but how does this impact how students view science?

This course will help you, as an educator, understand how students see science and how that affects their engagement in the subject.

Using space physics and astronomy for context, you’ll have the chance to improve your science subject knowledge and start teaching in a way that helps your students foster a lifelong interest in science.

Support your students in science lessons to prepare for their future

Secondary school is when students begin to seriously consider future career paths.

In finding new ways to investigate outstanding questions, secondary science covers vital areas like maths, literacy, and creativity. It also provides a platform for young people to build critical thinking and analytical skills.

As well as helping pupils build key STEM knowledge, you’ll learn how to support students to develop a range of skills that will stand them in good stead for future job opportunities.

Learn with astronomers at the Royal Observatory Greenwich (ROG)

This course is led by ROG astronomers who offer expert scientific knowledge in physics and astronomy.

In a typical year, they teach over 40,000 learners onsite at the Royal Observatory Greenwich through workshops and planetarium shows and also engage students through observatory outreach at schools and festivals.

What topics will you cover?

  • Perceptions of science from both teachers and students.
  • Science capital: the factors that affect a student’s (any person’s) engagement/association with science.
  • Methods of teaching science using astronomy as a context.
  • Facts and explanations of astronomy concepts covered in the secondary science curriculum to help teachers build their knowledge.
  • Ways to extend and encourage further learning outside a class.
  • Tips and tricks of teaching space science and astronomy online / virtually.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explain scientific phenomena that often come up when teaching secondary level space science and astronomy in an accurate and comprehensible way for your students, considering their prior knowledge and common misconceptions.
  • Discuss student and teacher perceptions of science and use this to inform your teaching practise.
  • Explore a range of resources that could be used when teaching physics and astronomy and how they could be used to cover multiple disciplines of science along with important skills through working scientifically.
  • Reflect on how science is taught in classrooms and explore different ways of approaching it.
  • Identify what science capital is, the dimensions used to measure it and why it is an important consideration when teaching science.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for any secondary (11-16) science teachers looking for new ideas or alternative methods to teach space science and astronomy.

Although secondary science teachers in the UK are required to have a background in science, space science and astronomy falls under physics and not all teachers may be familiar with it while being expected to teach it in school.

If you’re currently teaching science to young people at home as a parent or guardian, this course will improve your understanding of secondary space science and astronomy so you can support young people at home.

Who will you learn with?

Senior Manager for Astronomy Education at the Royal Observatory Greenwich

Astronomy Education Officer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich

Who developed the course?

Royal Observatory Greenwich

The Royal Observatory at Greenwich was founded by Charles II in 1675. Today it is a museum and science centre offering inspiring, curriculum-linked experiences delivered by real astronomers.

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  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
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Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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