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RAS outreach map

The RAS maintains a searchable map of national experts for the education and outreach of astronomy, geophysics and planetary science. More

 

Information for everyone

General information on astronomy and geophysics, especially in the UK, including fact sheets, how to contact an astronomer, and UK observatories. More

 

Information for school students

For pupils there are lists of undergraduate courses and general fact sheets. For teachers there are links to resources and a list of astronomers and geophysicists who will give talks. More

 

Information for university students

Advice on undergraduate study, becoming a professional astronomer, postgraduate opportunities, salaries, and part-time and distance-learning astronomy courses. More

 

Information for 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 and geophysicists who will give talks. More

 

Information for media & researchers

Contacts for media enquiries and information for researchers. More

 

Education prizes

Prizes are available for school teachers, PhD students and undergraduate students. More

 

 

  • 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 schoolseclipse

     

    On Friday 20 March 2015 there was a partial eclipse of the Sun in the UK.

     

    We've 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!

     

    Primary school resources:

    Solar Eclipse role play

    Solar Eclipse newspaper article

     

    Secondary school resources:

    Solar Eclipse worksheet (Year 7-9)

    The maths of a Solar Eclipse (Year 10-11)

     


    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

     

    We can offer some work experience places here at the RAS or help you find summer placements at universities around the UK. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information. We will also advertise other opportunities here.

     

    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.

     

    Cosmology_cover

    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.

     

     

    gravity_small.jpgOur 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

     

    The best way of finding relevant and useful teaching resources at the current time is by using the STEM eLibrary by ESERO-UK.

    Alternatively try the TES website, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more ideas and resources.

     


    Other teaching resources

     

    • The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) educational resources.
    • 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.

     


    Public talks and workshops for schools

     

    The RAS maintains a list of professional astronomers and geophysicists who are available to give schools talks via its searchable map, allowing you to find facilities, topics and speakers who are close to you. Alternatively email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to see if we can visit you, or you can visit the RAS!

     


    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.

     


    Science Council

     

    future_morphThe Science Council careers information site www.futuremorph.org has a lot of information about studying science, technology, engineering and maths.

     

     

     


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  • Education Prizes

    Patrick Moore Medal

    This prize is awarded annually to recognise outstanding school teachers in the fields of astronomy or geophysics. More

     

    Michael Penston Thesis Prize

    This prize is awarded annually for the best UK PhD thesis in astronomy (including astrobiology, astroparticle physics, etc). More

     

    Keith Runcorn Thesis Prize

    This prize is awarded annually for the best UK PhD thesis in geophysics, solar-terrestrial physics, and planetary sciences. More

     

    Patricia Tomkins Thesis Prize

    This prize is awarded annually for the best UK PhD thesis in instrumentation science for astronomy or geophysics. More

     

    Patricia Tomkins Undergraduate Prize

    This prize is awarded annually for excellent laboratory work on instrumentation undertaken by an undergraduate student as part of a course related to astronomy or geophysics. More

    ( 41 Articles )
  • For everyone

    Introduction to astronomy

    If you are interested in astronomy but don’t know where to start, we have prepared this general introduction, which includes some guidance on buying a telescope.

    This website is a good place to start if you are a beginner and you would like a guide to astronomy: http://learnastronomyhq.com/beginners-guide-to-astronomy.html

     


    International Year of Light 2015

    International Year of Light2015 marks the UNESCO International Year of Light and Light Based Technologies. Celebrations will take place throughout the year, across the globe, and involve events and activities covering a wide variety of topics for all ages and levels of expertise. To find out what is going on near you have a look at the IYOL 2015 UK website.

    See also:

     


    UK science

     


     
    FAQs and Ask an Astronomer
     
    Do you have a burning Astronomy or Geophysics question? Have you ever wondered why the sky is blue or what the seasons would look like on Uranus?

     

    Then now is the time to ask our resident astronomers and geophysicists!

    Just email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or tweet us @RAS_outreach and we will get those questions answered!

     


     
    UK observatories

    Although professional astronomers often have to use observatories in countries less affected by light pollution than the UK, there are a large number of instruments used by the amateur community or for training students.

     


     
    Did you know…

    That the RAS has a piece of Newton's apple tree and other amazing artefacts?

    log

     


    Links
    • Our 'link farms' in astronomy and geophysics provide links to sources of astronomical images, guides to the night sky and other information.
    • Links to sources of astronomical and geophysical slides, photographs, memorabilia, videos etc can be found in this Library Information Sheet.

     


    Articles

    A selection of articles from the Society's journal, Astronomy & Geophysics (A&G), are available online:

     


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  • For university students

     

    Introduction

    The RAS has produced notes on studying and working in astronomy and planetary sciences in the UK, including advice on undergraduate study in astronomy, and on becoming a professional astronomer.

    This should be read in conjuction with the RAS review pdfcareers in astronomy in the UK (published 2005).

    This site also lists part-time and distance learning astronomy courses.

     


    Work Experience and Summer Placements

     

    We can offer some work experience places here at the RAS or help you find summer placements at universities around the UK. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information. We will also advertise other opportunities here.

     

    Enter the STEM awards for a chance to win £25k! 

     


    Opportunities

    The RAS has linked up with PostgraduateSearch.com, who maintain a comprehensive and updated list of university postgraduate courses (gathered from UCAS) in astronomy and geophysics. The list of available courses is available here.

    The RAS provides an email alert service for jobs in astronomy and geophysics advertised worldwide. The Careers page gives details of how to register and links to other job registers.

    You can also find information on scientific salaries in the UK and USA.

     


    Competitions and prizes

    The RAS Michael Penston Astronomy Prize is awarded annually for the best UK PhD thesis in astronomy (including astrobiology, astroparticle physics, etc). Sponsored by Wiley-Blackwell.

    The RAS Keith Runcorn Prize is awarded annually for the best UK PhD thesis in geophysics, solar-terrestrial physics, and planetary sciences. Sponsored by Wiley-Blackwell.

    The annual deadline for thesis prize nominations is 31 January. Click to see a list of previous winners.

     


    ( 15 Articles )
  • Educational resources


    Educational Resources database

    Outreach Resources

     

    The Royal Astronomical Society has requested information from Institutions, Colleges, Schools and Individuals who are willing to provide outreach facilities to promote and encourage an interest in Astronomy and Geophysics.  As part of this, the RAS has produced a searchable map to find those located within a specific geographic area.

    Please click here to use this new facility.

     

    The best way of finding relevant and useful teaching resources at the current time is by using the STEM eLibrary by ESERO-UK.

    Alternatively try the TES website, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more ideas and resources.

     

    Any comments…

    If you wish to have alterations or additions to our resource map, or make any other constructive suggestions, please contact the Education & Outreach officer.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Please report any dead links to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

     

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  • Miscellaneous

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  • RAS@200

    RAS200LogoIn 2020 the Royal Astronomical Society will be 200 years old.

     

    To celebrate our bicentennial, the Society has established an Outreach and Engagement Fund of £1,000,000 to support astronomy and geophysics projects that create a real buzz about science – understanding, discussion and dialogue – in diverse sections of the community.

    rasPT

     

     

     

     

    We are extremely excited to be working with varied partners on such innovative and inspiring projects.

    To find out how the first tranche of successful applicants are getting on, read the AGM Report 2016.

    Sue Bowler reports on the second tranche winners, showcasing new and creative approaches to outreach in a special issue article from A&G.

    The RAS200 sister site can be found here, and has the most up to date information about the project.


     

    ( 13 Articles )