A year ago, the Teide Observatory was the scene of the inauguration of the CosmoLAB project, an initiative of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) financed by the Cabildo of Tenerife, via the “Tenerife Innovates” programme of the Tenerife 2030 project, and with the collaboration of the Department of Education and Universities of the Government of the Canaries.
During the first year a total of 127 teachers have been trained in subjects such as the mounting and use of telescopes. This has enabled them to offer the astronomical resources of the outstanding skies of Tenerife to over 2,500 students in 76 educational centre in the Island (Infant, Primary and High Schools).
This project, organized by the astrophysicists specialists in outreach Sandra Benitez Herrera and Alfred Rosenberg Gonzalez aims to provide access to astronomical material by the educational community, since many centres do not have the infrastructure needed to make astronomical observations. For this purpose astronomical equipment has been given to the Teachers’ Centres (CEP) in Tenerife, where the teachers can receive the training needed to borrow them for use in their schools. The training is part of this project.
The project also offers visits to the Teide Observatory, lectures, workshops and astronomical observing sessions in schools, as well as specific training via “CosmoEducando and discovering the Universe”
This course in astrophysics, given by professionals in different fields within the IAC is divided into three session: “The Sun, the star which illuminates our lives” “ Discovering the interior of the Sun with Helioseismology”, “The Moon, our companion”, “ The Solar System: getting to know our neighbourhood” “ Extrasolar Planets: searching for other worlds” “The formation and evolution of stars” “ The Chemistry of the Universe”, “The History of the Galaxies” ; “Cosmology”, and “Distances in the Universe”. In addition resources and activities are provided in order to convey these frontier concepts to the classroom in a practical and motivating way.
To complement the training courses specific didactic material is being developed, as are learning schemes about the various subjects in the course.
After an evaluation of all the aspects of this first year of the project, from September there will be a new round of courses on astrophysics and on the use and mounting of telescopes. In addition there are plans, in the second year, to incorporate new courses in astrophotography and spectroscopy, and the activities will be widened to include more centres on the Island.
The bottom line is that CosmoLAB’s objective is to inspire the educational community to admire the Canary sky and its observatories and to consider them part of their heritage.
Video "The project CosmoLAB is one year old": https://youtu.be/iCXX6mxXKqY
More informationon the website and on the Facebook page of the project: