AOP’s Outreach Dome

Armagh Observatory and Planetarium is proud to announce its selection as one of 15 projects across the UK to receive funding from The UK Space Agency. This funding, part of the Agency’s Space for All initiative, is dedicated to engaging young people from diverse backgrounds and igniting their interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) careers.

The selected project, titled “Cosmic Explorers: Igniting STEM and Astronomy”, is an innovative outreach initiative designed by Armagh Observatory and Planetarium to captivate the imaginations of 11–16-year-olds in space science. The program employs cutting-edge technology, including a portable planetarium dome, hands-on workshops, and STEM careers guidance, all tailored to align with the school curriculum.

With a focus on collaboration, “Cosmic Explorers” will work closely with educators to co-create content that enriches classroom learning experiences. By bringing science directly into schools across Northern Ireland, the program aims to broaden students’ understanding of scientific concepts and bolster interest in STEM subjects.

Expressing enthusiasm about the funding award, Sinead Mackle, Education and Outreach Manager at Armagh Observatory and Planetarium, stated, “This is fantastic news and testament to the strength of the project’s potential to inspire the next generation. This funding will allow us to travel to schools across Northern Ireland and bring science into as many classrooms as possible. Our outreach program is focused on widening the knowledge of science and supporting the growth of STEM careers.”

Through initiatives like “Cosmic Explorers”, Armagh Observatory and Planetarium continues its commitment to nurturing curiosity, fostering learning, and empowering the future leaders of the STEM community.

Space for All is part of the UK Space Agency’s £12 million Inspiration programme which delivers multiple long-lasting interventions and opportunities across the UK, engaging with parents, teachers, club leaders, and role models, as well as young people themselves.

Some members of the AOP Team with the Outreach Dome

Professor Anu Ojha, Director of Championing Space at the UK Space Agency, said: “As part of the UK Space Agency’s long-term investment in space education and skills, our Space for All funding is backing projects that will engage young people from all backgrounds across the UK. Through long lasting interventions we aim to demonstrate the value of space to everyday life and the broad range of exciting future careers available, through Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) pathways and wider.”

Space for All Fund for 2023–2025.


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