Patricia Skelton

Patricia Skelton

Deputy Head of Astronomy Engagement at the Royal Observatory Greenwich

Activity

  • Hello everyone and welcome to `Our Solar System and Beyond: Teaching Primary Science'! We were actively facilitating this course from 13 February - 5 March.

    The next facilitated period will begin on 22 May 2023, however we're confident that you'll find support in the comments from other participants taking the course, so you can get started whenever you...

  • Hello everyone and welcome to `Physics, Astronomy, and Space: Teaching Secondary Science'! We were actively facilitating this course from 13 February - 5 March.

    The next facilitated period will begin on 22 May 2023, however we're confident that you'll find support in the comments from other participants taking the course, so you can get started whenever you...

  • Hello everyone and welcome to `Physics, Astronomy, and Space: Teaching Secondary Science'! We will be actively facilitating this course from 13 February - 5 March 2023.

    We hope that you enjoy all the great topics covered in this course and that you will find it rewarding - there's loads to cover, so let's jump in to Week 1!

  • Hello everyone and welcome to `Physics, Astronomy, and Space: Teaching Secondary Science'! We were actively facilitating this course from 17 October - 6 November.

    The next facilitated period will begin on 13 February 2023, however we're confident that you'll find support in the comments from other participants taking the course, so you can get started...

  • Great question - all of our animated videos are free for teachers to use in the classroom and can be viewed either on our Vimeo channel (www.vimeo.com/royalobservatory) or on our museum website (https://www.rmg.co.uk/schools-communities/all-astronomy-science-resources).

  • This is a great approach to use. Sometimes teachers feel pressured to know the answer to everything, but the reality is that we can't. Showing students that it is fine to not know the answer to a question and then working with them to find the answer together is a powerful teaching tool.

  • @AbdulrahmanAlhamad It's fantastic that you have included the fact that stars contain mostly hydrogen and helium - this is a quick and easy thing for students to remember about stars.

    Something we have found that always makes students go "Wow!" is to show them just how big stars can get. We often start off by showing the size of the Earth compared to the...

  • @petraReichel When viewed from the Southern Hemisphere, the Moon does appear upside down compared to how it looks in the Northern Hemisphere. I grew up in the Southern Hemisphere and when I moved to the UK, it was something I had to get used to seeing :-)

    Another thing to note is that in the Northern Hemisphere, as we move from new moon to full moon, the...

  • @petraReichel Here is a short video that explains the difference between sidereal and synodic months; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAocHt3xro0

    The lunar phase seen by people around the Earth will be the same. So, for example, if the Moon is in its first quarter phase, as the Earth spins around, every person will be able to see the Moon in its first...

  • Hello everyone and welcome to `Physics, Astronomy, and Space: Teaching Secondary Science'! We will be actively facilitating this course from 17 October - 6 November and look forward to sharing our experiences with you, and responding to your posts.

    We hope that you enjoy all the great topics covered in this course and that you will find it rewarding -...

  • Hello everyone and welcome to `Our Solar System and Beyond: Teaching Primary Science'!

    We will be actively facilitating this course from 13 February - 5 March 2023. We hope that you enjoy all the great topics covered in this course and that you will find it rewarding - there's loads to cover, so let's jump in to Week 1!

  • Hello everyone and welcome to `Physics, Astronomy, and Space: Teaching Secondary Science'! We were actively facilitating this course from 8 - 28 August and enjoyed reading and responding to your posts.

    The next facilitated period will begin on 17 October 2022, however we're confident that you'll find support in the comments from other participants taking...

  • Hello everyone and welcome to `Our Solar System and Beyond: Teaching Primary Science'! We were actively facilitating this course from 8 - 28 August and enjoyed reading and responding to your posts.

    The next facilitated period will begin on 17 October 2022, however we're confident that you'll find support in the comments from other participants taking the...

  • When looking at images of the Sun, it is certainly true that it looks like a giant ball of fire in the sky. In fact, before scientists figured out what stars like our Sun were made of and what powers them, many people thought that the Sun was made of fire.

    The Sun is a giant ball of very hot gases (in case anyone is curious - the temperature at the centre...

  • Thank you for bringing that to our attention - it looks like the link was broken! We have updated the link in the text so you should now be able to view the results of the survey.

  • Welcome to the course! :-)

  • Welcome to the course! :-)

  • @JuliannaSilvester There is a series called "5 levels" and they have a number of videos on a range of topics - you can view the playlist here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLibNZv5Zd0dyCoQ6f4pdXUFnpAIlKgm3N

  • You'll find out more about your course educators in the next step, and we would love to learn more about our students :-)

  • Hello everyone and welcome to `Physics, Astronomy, and Space: Teaching Secondary Science'! We will be actively facilitating this course from 8 - 27 August and look forward to sharing our experiences with you, and responding to your posts.

    We hope that you enjoy all the great topics covered in this course and that you will find it rewarding - there's loads...

  • You're absolutely correct in saying that it's okay not to understand everything and I think this is something that students (and teachers) should be told more often. When a topic pops up that you don't understand, this opens up fantastic a learning opportunity for everyone - learning is a lifelong process and we should never stop asking questions.

  • Welcome to Week 3 everyone :-)

    We've got quite a bit to cover, so let's get going!

  • Welcome to Week 3 everyone :-)

    We've got quite a bit to cover, so let's get going!

  • Welcome to the course! We're happy to answer any astronomy questions you may have :-)

  • I agree with you - it's so disheartening when you hear those words! When people are curious about a topic, or want to know how something works, even the most complicated thing can be broken down into chunks that are easy to understand.

    Here's one great example of how a complex topic like black holes can be explained in 5 levels of difficulty:...

  • A black hole's gravitational pull is so strong that not even light can escape from it. This means that if a spacecraft, or a drone, could survive entering a black hole, we would never be able to get any information back from that spacecraft/drone - black holes are certainly some of the strangest objects in the Universe!

  • Welcome to week 2 everyone!

    Looking forward to working with all of you this week and diving into some interesting topics :-)

  • Welcome to week 2 everyone!

    Looking forward to working with all of you this week and diving into some interesting topics :-)

  • Hello everyone and welcome to `Physics, Astronomy, and Space: Teaching Secondary Science'! We were actively facilitating this course from 14 - 6 March 2022 and enjoyed sharing our experiences with you, and responding to your posts.

    The next facilitated period will begin on 23 May 2022, however we're confident that you'll find support in the comments from...

  • Welcome everyone! It's always great to meet our course participants and learn a bit more about them :-) I'll kick things off - I love astronomy and space exploration (Mars is my favourite planet!), my love of Star Trek is what got me interested in astronomy, and I'm a huge LEGO fan.

  • Hello everyone and welcome to `Our Solar System and Beyond: Teaching Primary Science'! We will be actively facilitating this course from 23 May - 12 June 2022 and look forward to sharing our experiences with you, and responding to your posts.

    We hope that you enjoy all the great topics covered in this course and that you will find it rewarding - there's...

  • Really good points - spacecraft sent to explore other worlds are sterilised before leaving the Earth to ensure they are biologically clean and contaminant free.

  • Brilliant! The reasons you've outlined above are precisely why students should meet scientists :-)

  • The difference in lengths between the lunar phase cycle (29.5 days) and the lunar orbit (27.3 days) has to do with the fact that while the Moon is orbiting around the Earth, the Earth is also moving (it is orbiting the Sun).

    This means that when the Moon has completed one orbit of the Earth, the Moon has to then move a little bit further in its path to...

  • This is a misconception that I have come across too. Out of interest, and if you would be happy to share it, what made you change your mind about this particular misconception?

  • The second point you raised is a valid point and one that has been the focus of a fair number of conversations that I have had with members of the public and students. We're often asked why so much money is spent on sending astronauts to space because people living on the ground don't benefit from it. And it is a difficult point to talk about, but the truth...

  • Asteroids are something astronomers do keep an eye on because they can pose a threat to us here on the Earth (but it does depend on the orbit of the asteroid/s).

    A solar storm is dangerous and life threatening, but it is not due to asteroids. A solar storm relates to solar activity, or activity on the Sun. We might think that our Sun is a quiet star,...

  • Each planet of our solar system does orbit around the Sun, with each planet taking a different amount of time to do so. The Earth takes 365.25 days to complete one orbit of the Sun, Mercury only takes 88 days to complete one orbit of the Sun while Neptune takes an incredible 165 years to complete an orbit!

    The Sun provides us with heat and light which is...

  • Thank you for the wonderful feedback - we're delighted that you enjoyed the course :-)

  • Patricia Skelton made a comment

    We hope that you have enjoyed this course and that your confidence in teaching primary science has increased. If you would like more information about our schools programme, head to our website:

    https://www.rmg.co.uk/schools-communities/rog-schools

    You can also follow us on Twitter: @ROGAstronomers

    Happy stargazing! :-)

  • Hello everyone and welcome to `Our Solar System and Beyond: Teaching Primary Science'! We were actively facilitating this course from 9 - 29 August and enjoyed sharing our experiences in teaching astronomy and space science with you, and responding to your posts.

    The next facilitated period will begin on Monday 18 October, but until then, we encourage all...

  • Welcome to the course :-)

  • Great answers :-) As you say, it's very difficult to explain what the Universe is in just two sentences!