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This content is taken from the Royal Observatory Greenwich's online course, Our Solar System and Beyond: Teaching Primary Science. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 6 secondsHello, and welcome to the course Teaching Primary Science, Our Solar System and Beyond. This is a three week course action packed with ideas, resources, and practical advice to help you and your students understand something us astronomers love-- the cosmos. Together we will explore everything from the sun-earth-moon system to black holes, and all sorts in between. Whether you find teaching space science a dream or a total nightmare, this course will help you to enhance your teaching of this beautiful subject. We'll start off by looking at your perceptions of science. And we'll hear from people who work in science as well, such as researchers, teachers, and students.

Skip to 0 minutes and 48 secondsThere will then be time for you to reflect on your own perceptions as well as share in best practise of teaching science in the classroom with other educators. Next step, we have a big topic-- misconceptions. As astronomers, we encounter all sorts of misconceptions about space, as I'm sure you do from your students when you're teaching your science lessons. There's so much information out there. It can be quite challenging to sort out the science fact from the science fiction. And this is where we can help you. We'll dispel myths, correct misconceptions, and give you plenty of resources and reliable sources of information to use in your lessons.

Skip to 1 minute and 26 secondsLater on in the course, we will share our expertise in how we deal with very challenging questions. We'll explore different scenarios together about the ethical and moral side of science, concepts that are beyond primary science teaching, and even questions that are beyond imagination. Towards the end of the course, we'll look at how to incorporate real, cutting edge discoveries into your teaching through planning appropriate trips, using resources such as podcasts and videos, or connecting with people that work in the science sector. By the end of the course, we want you to feel confident and enthused about teaching space science in your classrooms, and for your brains to be busting with new ideas to try out.

Skip to 2 minutes and 7 secondsWe've got lots to do, so let's get cracking.

Welcome to the course

By the end of this course we want you to feel confident and enthused about teaching space science and astronomy. We will share our expertise and experience communicating science with you throughout the course and we hope you share yours with us and the others on the course too.

What topics will be covered?

The content of this course will most closely link to the primary science curriculum for 7 to 11 year old pupils taught in the UK. However, as you will see, it would be easy to adapt this course to suit you wherever you are in the world as the topics covered are core science.

We will be focusing on Earth and Space, in particular:

  1. Describing the movement of the Earth and other planets relative to the Sun in the Solar System.
  2. Describing the movement of the Moon relative to the Earth.
  3. Describing the Sun, Earth and Moon as approximately spherical bodies.
  4. Using the idea of the Earth’s rotation to explain day and night and the apparent movement of the Sun across the sky.

We will also look at how to work scientifically as well as light, forces and magnetism within the context of space.

In Week 1 we will focus mainly on perceptions of science, communication skills and identifying where you would like to fill gaps in your skills and experience. We will look at some of the most common misconceptions we encounter in primary space science and astronomy and we’ll show you where to start when you are asked to explain something very complicated to a primary student.

In Week 2 we will jump into the scientific concepts covered in primary science and astronomy learning and we will share with you the most effective ways to communicate them to students.

In Week 3 we will look at how to incorporate real science, real people and real data into your lessons and how to apply what you have learned through the course.

We have lots to cover so let’s get cracking!

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This video is from the free online course:

Our Solar System and Beyond: Teaching Primary Science

Royal Observatory Greenwich