Information for schools & teachers
Below you'll find various sources of information for pupils and teachers. For pupils there are lists of undergraduate courses and general fact sheets. For teachers there are links to resources and a list of astronomers who will give talks.
Solar Eclipse 2015 - resources for schools
On Friday 20 March 2015, the whole of the UK will be treated to a partial eclipse of the Sun.
These are quite rare, and this one will be a major event; the next significant one in the UK will be in 2026. That morning, the Moon will pass right in front of the Sun, blotting out up to 90% of its disc. The Sun will look like a crescent instead of a disc, and there'll be various other things to look for. The eclipse will be observable between 8.30 and 10.45 am, with maximum occurring around 9.30am in a SE direction.
We've also written an eclipse booklet that can be viewed electronically or printed off. Check the booklet for tips, information on how to make an eclipse viewer and where to get a free pair of viewers from!
Tweet us with photos of you viewing the eclipse! Tweet @RAS_outreach and @popastro – using #eclipse2015 – and send us your photos. Fill in your details on our interactive map to share where you'll be viewing the eclipse and see where others across the world are viewing too.
Primary school resources:
Secondary school resources:
Solar Eclipse Stargazing Live National Eclipse Weather Experiment
Schools are invited to participate in a citizen science project, working with The University of Reading and BBC Learning. Professor Giles Harrison of the University of Reading’s Department of Meteorology is researching a phenomenon called 'the eclipse wind' and wants schools across the UK to participate.
Patrick Moore Medal
The new RAS Patrick Moore Medal will be awarded annually to outstanding teachers of astronomy and/or geophysics. More information including nomination form
Work Experience, Summer Placements and Events
Nuffield Research Placements for students in the first year of a post 16 STEM course: http://www.nuffieldresearchplacements.org/
Social Mobility Foundation work experience placements and support from year 12 onwards: http://www.socialmobility.org.uk/get-involved/students/
Space School UK summer residentials for 13-18 year olds interested in astronomy and space science: http://spaceschool.co.uk/
The Great NE Space Expo 2015 poster advertising the chance to engage with a vast array of businesses that are part of the innovative UK Space Sector and find out what it takes to have a career in an incredibly exciting area of scientific discovery.
Studying astronomy and geophysics
Are you considering astronomy or geophysics as a career, or would you like to study the subjects at a higher level?
The RAS has a factsheet that will tell you more about becoming a Professional Astronomer, Geophysicist or Planetary Scientist. This includes a list of undergraduate courses by UCAS number.
You can also download the RAS booklet on 'Careers for Girls with a Vision in Astronomy & Geophysics'
General information on astronomy and geophysics
The RAS has produced a series of leaflets and an e-book on astronomy and geophysics topics.
Our latest resource (published 2011) is an e-book on Cosmology designed for A level students. This is a basic introduction to the history of the Universe, from the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago to the present day.
This book is available as an interactive PDF or as a series of web pages.
Our Gravity leaflet gives you information about key figures in gravitational science, tells you how gravity affects the Solar System, why we have tides, and the role gravity plays in stellar evolution, galaxies, Black Holes and cosmology.
Other leaflets can be downloaded in PDF format. Click on the titles to access the following:
Database of resources for teaching astronomy, geophysics and planetary science
Other teaching resources
Public talks and workshops for schools
Schools Seismology Project
Detecting the minute vibrations caused by earthquakes that happened thousands of kilometres away with a simple piece of equipment sitting in your own school creates a 'wow' moment for students — and sometimes staff as well. The instruments required to do this are surprisingly simple — and some can even be made by teachers in a school workshop. The project encourages schools to establish a seismic observatory using a simple mechanical seismometer and PC.
For more information have a look at the webpages of the British Geological Survey - Seismometers for use in schools.
The Science Council careers information site www.futuremorph.org has a lot of information about studying science, technology, engineering and maths.