A big part of the Twinkle mission, as we’ve mentioned before on our blog, is our EduTwinkle educational programme. EduTwinkle, run by Dr Clara Sousa-Silva, aims to use both the exciting idea of a space mission and real exoplanet-related data to engage school students with STEM subjects. Recently, there have been major developments for EduTwinkle, with Clara running a series of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) sessions, hosting a #ASEchat, and starting up the ORBYTS (Original Research By Young Twinkle Students) programme.
The CPD sessions are run for primary school teachers, training them how they can use space exploration and Twinkle in particular in their teaching for all Key Stages. These sessions also gave us the opportunity to discuss with the Primary School Teachers Network how we can expand EduTwinkle activities across the UK.
The #ASEchat was part of the Association for Science Education’s outreach programme, which includes weekly Twitter discussions about different aspects of science education. On 5th October, as part of World Space Week, Clara hosted a session about Twinkle and bringing the topic of space into classrooms. If you missed it, you can download some of the highlights from the ASE website here.
The ORBYTS programme is a new initiative that’s starting at Highams Park School in Waltham Forest. As Clara puts it: “We’re pairing young scientists with young Twinkle students at schools to do original research together, and work towards co-publishing.” The initial projects are based on molecular astrophysics and aimed at Year 12 and 13 students. This will give them something that few school students get: the chance to carry out genuinely novel research and to find out what professional level science entails.
With the help of the academic and industrial partners in our Twinkle consortium, we are currently developing plans to bring EduTwinkle programmes to schools across the UK. Until then you can keep up with our education programme by signing up for our newsletter here and following both Twinkle and Clara on Twitter.