3rd successful COMENIUS-funded Teacher Training Session - Torun, Poland

The 3rd COMENIUS-funded EU-HOU training session was held this may, in Torun, Poland, and has been very successful !

Despite the Swedish volcano eruption, 29 teachers from 13 European countries attended the session held at the Institute of Physics in Torun. In addition, HOU Staff consisted in 9 trainers, assisted by 12 persons from the Local Organising Committee.

The days consisted of a number of hands-on workshops and talks aimed at showing the educators freely available astronomical resources which can be used in their classrooms back home to help stimulate their pupil’s interest and enthusiasm in science. 

Lectures included the use of robotic telescopes in the classroom, both optical and radio, how to discover extrasolar planets, the dark matter, radioastronomy at school, open Clusters and the H-R Diagram, scale of quantities in the Universe. A talk allowed the teachers to learn how to use the multilingual SalsaJ software to analyse astronomical data. 

In addition, during the visit in Piwnice Radioastronomical-observatory, a lecture about initiation to imaging the sky in radio domain was proposed to teachers.

They were also given the chance to do even more hands-on work, by making some astronomical instruments! Using the Galileoscope telescope kit, a small refractor especially developed for International Year of Astronomy, teachers made working telescopes in an hour! (cost: $30 each plus shipping). No matter where you live, with this telescope, one can see the celestial wonders that Galileo Galilei first glimpsed 400 years ago and that still delight stargazers today. These include lunar craters and mountains, four moons circling Jupiter, the phases of Venus, Saturn's rings, and countless stars invisible to the unaided eye.

Finally, teachers have been offered attempts to reproduce Nicolaus Copernicus experiments.

To see the various exercises carried out during the training session, see the 'Exercises' page on this website.  

All in all, a very enjoyable time was had by all attendees of the teacher training workshop, both teachers and trainers alike. The keen and enthusiastic response shown by all the delegates promises to be a great result for spreading their new found knowledge out into schools and to teachers in their home countries.

All the pictures taken during the training session can be downloaded here (huge archive ! 140Mb)