Armagh Observatory and Planetarium have announced new interactive Junior Cycle modules based on Earth and Space and the Physical World.  Delivered by a highly trained education team, the inspirational journey aims to inspire the next generation into STEM related subjects. 

Professor Michael Burton said, “Our new programme for the Junior Cycle is a fantastic way for us to demonstrate the capabilities of a planetarium for teaching science using immersive visualisation to bring the subject to life.  Inspiration and learning while still having fun!  We bring the student on a journey from the Earth out into the Solar System, to distant planets and then the stars beyond. In doing so, we also hope to ignite an interest in astronomy and in science using the dedicated modules we have developed for schools studying in the Junior Cycle”. 

Students from Largy College, Clones, are joined by Professor Michael Burton, Director of Armagh Observatory & Planetarium, and Education Officers Ria Mee and Helen McLoughlin for the launch of new Junior Cycle modules. CREDIT: LiamMcArdle.com

The immersive two-hour experience delves into the Universe like never before utilising the 360-degree dome theatre where school pupils and teachers can sit back and relax as the education team take them on a guided tour around the many elements of what they are currently studying with the session finishing with an interactive workshop. 

Education and Outreach Manager, Sinead Mackle, said “Communication, creativity and excellent teamwork skills are all required within our workshops which serves to develop important life skills that are transferable at school and beyond in workplaces”. 

 Inspiration and learning while still having fun! CREDIT: LiamMcArdle.com

The official launch of the programme took place during Science Week Ireland and the first group from Largy College in Monaghan had a fantastic time.

I enjoyed learning about interesting facts on different planets while at the same time experiencing being in space beside these planets in the Dome. I now realise how important space exploration is to society and how it helps us to understand the world better.” Kylah Gormley, 2nd Year, Largy College

On the Moon! CREDIT: LiamMcArdle.com

“Our second year students travelled to Armagh Planetarium as part of Science week. The planetarium gave great visual explanations of topics like distances between celestial bodies, size comparison of celestial objects in the solar system and an excellent account of the Big Bang, all of these can be very difficult to illustrate in a classroom setting. The guides were very knowledgeable and were excellent with the students probing them and giving very interesting facts on the planets and the benefits and hazards of space exploration. The tours and workshops were very relevant to several of the learning outcomes on the new Junior Cycle Science course”. Colette Smith, Science Teacher, Largy College Clones

The programme is now available for teachers to book into for the 2019/2020 academic year. Please call 028 3752 3689 (004428 3752 3689) or email reception@armagh.ac.uk for more information. 


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