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Astrophysics Outreach Application

Do you know what it means to do scientific research, be an astronomer, or even be an astronaut? This free programme, based on 5 separate days throughout years 6 and 7 will take a tour of our understanding of our place in the universe to help students become more successful in science, encourage them to study science further or even to consider careers in science. We’ll begin by looking at how scientific ideas about our place in the universe have changed over time and progress to current research into the hunt for new habitable planets in distant galaxies. Interactive sessions will take place in schools using demonstrations and student 'lab books' to support students in understanding the latest research. We’ll also bring the students onto the University of Warwick campus to see scientists in action, experience what it's like to work in a University, and to discuss what to expect when moving to secondary school.

The focus of the initial year of the project (January 2020-July 2020) will be getting year 6 students to understand how astronomers hunt for exoplanets (planets that orbit distant stars). The content will be linked to the National Curriculum but will also bring the students into contact with actual data from the latest space telescopes, demonstrating how they can be successful in the field of Astrophysics from a young age.

The focus of the next year of the project (September 2020-July 2021) will be working with year 7 students on further aspects of astrophysics research. To ensure the content is completely up-to-date, these sessions will be developed over the course of the first year, in conversations with schools to ensure they are linked to their KS3 content.

Priority will be given to schools that apply as a primary and secondary pair (or a MAT signing up multiple schools) owing to the need to work with students across the transition. Additionally, schools that fulfil certain criteria from the University’s Widening Participation agenda will be further prioritised.

A longer description of the proposed plan can be found here.

The application form can be found here.

The project lead for this is Dr. Thomas Millichamp, a former scientist and secondary school teacher. Due to the extended nature of the project, if you have any questions or want to see an example of the material and resources that will be used, you can contact him at thomas.millichamp@warwick.ac.uk or organise a visit to discuss this exciting project in person.