Maths: It’s Rocket Science summer course in Dunsink Observatory

Maths: It’s Rocket Science summer course in Dunsink Observatory

I’ve been teaching for 12 years now. That’s quite a lot of summer courses! And this summer, I attended the best summer course ever!
I’ve grown tired of online courses at this point. They are fine for some people but really don’t suit my learning style. Which involves the learning style of chatting and activeness! (Interpersonal and kinesthetic)
I received a flyer into school in June from Ann Fitzpatrick in Discover Science. The venue caught my eye, the “Maths:it’s rocket science” course was to be run in Dunsink Observatory in Dublin. The content and venue was making connections for me all over the place! Having read “Ulysses” many times now, I knew Bloom had referred to “Dunsink time” many times in the novel. Our friend, Fergal Mullally was giving a talk in Dunsink that very week on the Kepler mission that he is working on in NASA, USA. The course sounded fully hands on and I hoped it would not be laden down with millions of power point slides!
All my hopes were made real. The course contained a brilliant blend of diverse speakers-engineering doctoral students, lecturers in astronomy and the lead guy from the Planetarium in Armagh. The first two days focused on the discover science and Maths syllabus. We learned how to make a helicopter, shoot rockets and all the mysteries of the solar system!

Simon learns how to use programming language without using a PC!(Shock.horror!)

I left the course knowing how to locate the major stars of our system at night and with a giant goodie bag of books and resources from dis over science and a giant folder of teaching cross curricular using the theme of space. The last day was the highlight, we headed off to Armagh to their very cool Planetarium. We sent the day viewing digital films about space in their digital theatre, which has to be seen to be believed! One of the geologists gave us a talk about aliens and the scientific debates around them.
I thoroughly enjoyed this course and would love to level 2 next year, if there were one! I met some really, really nice people. The teachers on the course were just lovely and I felt a pang of sadness as we left each other on the Friday evening! The staff at Dunsink Observatory were above welcoming, with homemade soup, sandwiches, good coffee and twirl bars every day laid out for us the lovely Hilary! Paul who works in research in Dunsink gave us a fascinating overview of the history of Astronomy in Ireland and we got a chance to look through the oldest and once largest telescope in Europe! Robert from the Planetarium is a great ambassador for astronomy and science, he is clearly proud of the work that him and staff carry out in Armagh.
The content was brilliant for a primary school teacher but it was the people that made it exciting for me? Thanks, Discover Science, Dunsink and Armagh Planetarium.

Last Update: August 22, 2017  

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3 thoughts on “Maths: It’s Rocket Science summer course in Dunsink Observatory”

  1. This course really was amazing, and this blog does it justice. Well done Rozz/Simon for the write up. If it runs again next year or there’s a level 2 version to be had, I’ll be there!

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