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.
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
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 is available online and as a PDF. Follow the link to find out more about key figures in gravitational science, how gravity affects the Solar System, why we have tides, 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:
RAS database of resources for teaching astronomy, geophysics and planetary science
This searchable database is designed to help teachers, both secondary and primary, identify useful, free resources to support their teaching of astronomical and geophysical topics.
Other teaching resources
- The European Space Education Resource Office (ESERO) has a comprehensive set of educational resources relating to space and astronomy.
- The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) produces resource guides.
- Here is a page of links to other resources.
- Three 2-metre telescopes have time available for use by students: the National Schools Observatory, Faulkes Telescopes and Bradford Robotic Telescope. The Royal Astronomical Society endorses robotic telescopes as an exciting way to give students direct and personal experience of science. The Society commends the Robotic Telescope Project at Bradford University, the Faulkes Telescopes Project at Cardiff University and the National Schools Observatory at Liverpool John Moores University for bringing to classrooms throughout the UK results from first-class telescopes in good astronomical sites on distant mountain tops and for providing soundly-based scientific projects so that teachers can use them for a range of educational needs.
The RAS maintains a list of professional astronomers and geophysicists who are available to give schools talks.
Schools Seismology Project
The project encourages schools to establish a seismic observatory using a simple mechanical seismometer and PC. Grants of up to £2250 are available for universities and other bodies to help provide seismometers and support to networks of local schools
The RAS Newspaper Competition
Between 1999 and 2010 the RAS ran an annual schools competition . Groups were invited to put together a newspaper or feature article on a specified astronomy topic. While it provided an excellent opportunity to forge cross-curricular links and develop research skills using the Internet and libraries to search for material, by 2010 too few schools participated to ensure its viability. The RAS, in future, hopes to encourage and reward outstanding achievement in the classroom by other means
Click here for the results of previous competitions.
The Science Council careers information site www.futuremorph.org has a lot of information about studying science, technology, engineering and maths.
'Sense about Science' has produced lesson plans about peer review.