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The fate of the Universe

Our Universe began 13.8 billion years ago and it has been expanding ever since. Watch this video to find out the fate of our Universe.

If a student asked you ‘How will the Universe end?’ would you feel prepared to answer them? Well, even if the answer isn’t certain, scientists and astronomers have worked out the likely possibilities.

Watch this video to find out the possible fate of our Universe.

Students will ask difficult questions and some, you may not have the answer for. We experience the same thing at the Royal Observatory and here are some of our top bits of advice to help you deal with them:

It’s okay not to know

We’re only human after all and it would be impossible to know everything, even in our own fields of expertise. Giving students an incorrect or misguided answer can do more damage than good – perhaps becoming the source of misconceptions that they hold for years to come.

It’s often empowering for students to see that their teachers don’t know it all and that they too are constantly learning. It’s times like this that students begin to see that learning is a lifelong process not just something they do in school.

You find out and they find out

Although it’s okay not to know the answer, difficult questions provide us and students with a chance to learn and extend our knowledge. From an educators perspective, it’s great to go away and find the answer so that you can share it with the student or have it in the ‘bank’ for the next time you’re asked that question.

Directing students to find the answer too, means they can practise the art of researching and discuss what they found with you. We learn by talking about and explaining what we’ve discovered.

Use reliable sources

With the amount of misinformation propagating out there, it’s important that we use and refer to reliable sources when we’re researching things and that we also teach our students to do the same thing.

Checking multiple sources to ensure there is an agreement between them is also a valuable method to adopt. Below are a few reliable sources for astronomy and space physics that we would recommend:

  1. For help explaining scientific concepts and phenomena try our short animated videos.
  2. For news on missions and other STEM resources take a look at European Space Agency
  3. For great astronomy facts and FAQ’s that your students can also use, check out NASA Space Place.
  4. For keeping up to date with astronomy and space science news, visit Space.com.
  5. For help planning lessons, try our Royal Observatory Greenwich classroom resources.
  6. To help you navigate the night sky each month, check out our Look Up! podcast series.
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Physics, Astronomy, and Space: Teaching Secondary Science

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