University of Deusto (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2018 Proceedings
Publication year: 2018
Pages: 2541-2545
ISBN: 978-84-697-9480-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2018.0480
Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain
Astronomy is one of the oldest sciences and an attention catching activity that can help motivating the science student. The study of astronomy can help to understand many concepts in other sciences, such as gravitational force in physics, Earth characteristics in geography or old navigation techniques in history. In view of the lack of professionals in the fields of science and technology, one of the steps that should be taken is to improve the quality and appeal of science classes in order to increase interest in scientific careers in our students. The use of astronomy as a connecting line among various scientific concepts has had some success in this regard. With the purpose of facilitating the task of science teachers interested in incorporating astronomy in their classes, in this paper we describe the importance of the role that astronomy can have as a motivating tool in the science class. We also explain some of the basic concepts and techniques that can help with the first steps of an amateur astronomer, so that teachers can plan simple observing activities for their students. Among these concepts and techniques, we include the brightness scale of stars, different coordinate systems (altitude and azimuth, right ascension and declination), the use of binoculars to start observing the sky and some of the easiest and most interesting targets to look at. Finally, we give a few examples of the many astronomy related resources that can be found in the Internet and can be applied to get students interested in their science classes. Among these resources, we include a handbook with detailed instructions on how to observe the night sky with binoculars or the homepage of UNAWE, an organization to inspire young children in their scientific education by using astronomy.
Astronomy, amateur astronomy, astronomy in STEM classes.