Secondary School Outreach
The Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation offers a range of activities and events for secondary school pupils, both in school and at the University. Further information about the different activities is given below, please get in touch with Dr Jen Gupta if you are interested in making a booking or would like to request an alternative activity not listed here.
All Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation schools outreach activities are free for the school. The ICG schools outreach programme is supported by the South East Physics Network (SEPnet) and The Ogden Trust.
The Portsmouth Astrodome is an inflatable planetarium that is brought to the school. A typical visit will last for the full school day, and will see one group attend a show per lesson period.
An Astrodome show usually includes a screening of the fulldome movie ‘We Are Astronomers’ (a production of NSC Creative), a presenter-led tour of the night sky using Stellarium, and a Q&A. The Astrodome can fit up to 25 secondary school pupils inside and requires a large space to be set up in – please click here for more information and full details of the Portsmouth Astrodome requirements.
The Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation offers a selection of workshops on topics in astrophysics and cosmology that can be delivered at the school. Each workshop is designed to last for one 60 minute lesson period, although most can be adapted to be shorter if required. The follow workshops are currently available:
- Investigating Spectra – Students will learn about how astronomers identify elements in stars and galaxies just by looking at the light they emit. They will learn about the electromagnetic spectrum and have the chance to ‘spot the spectrum’ by looking at different gas lamps.
- Galaxies – Students will investigate the different shapes of galaxies and find out what astronomers can learn about galaxies just by looking at them. They will then have a chance to try out the Galaxy Zoo online citizen science project and contribute towards real research carried out at the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation. Requires computers or tablets with internet access.
- Build the Universe with Lego – Students will be taken through the history of the Universe, learning how atoms and the different elements built up, using Lego to represent the building blocks of matter.
Many of the researchers at the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation are happy to visit local schools to talk about their research, general topics within astrophysics and cosmology, and studying physics at university. Past talks for secondary school pupils have included “Cosmic Discoveries in Portsmouth”, “Mapping the Universe” and “What can I do with a Physics degree?”.
Discover Astrophysics is a half-day event at the University for Year 10 pupils. The programme includes a mix of talks, workshops, and hands-on activities, that showcase astrophysics and cosmology research at the ICG and give the attendees an insight into studying physics at University.
Dates for Discover Astrophysics in the 2016/17 school year have not yet been set.
Think Bigger is a half-day event at the University for Year 8 pupils, themed around galaxies. Attendees learn how astronomers classify galaxies and build their own model of a galaxy cluster.
The next Think Bigger event is on 7th July 2016.