Welcome to the Astrobiology Academy Homepage

The Astrobiology Academy is an exciting initiative to produce curriculum-based lesson plans in the interdisciplinary science of astrobiology. Questions such as:

  • How did life originate?
  • Is there life elsewhere?
  • What is the future of life on Earth?

are used to write new lesson plans that can be used in schools across the UK and more widely to teach science. The lesson plans are made available through the TES website and other locations under the title “Astrobiology in the Classroom”.

The Academy is a free residential course of lectures and workshops delivered by professional scientists and educators working in the field of Astrobiology. It is run by the UK Centre for Astrobiology and runs for three days from Monday 4th of July to Wednesday 6th of July, 2016 and should fulfill any annual CPD requirement for teachers. However, it is also open to any professional interesting in contributing to education and the writing of lesson plans.

Since being established, the academy has been supported by the NASA Astrobiology Institute, the UK Space Agency, the Royal Astronomical Society, the Science & Technology Facilities Council and the National Space Academy.

What is Astrobiology?

Astrobiology is the study of life in the universe. It investigates the origins of life on Earth, the survival of life in extremes, such as in the deep oceans and in polar ice sheets, and the possibility of life beyond the Earth. The search for life ranges across space and time, as Astrobiology seeks to discover where life may have existed, where it might be now and it’s long term fate in the Universe. We can also learn from these conditions how physical and environmental changes on Earth may affect life here. The Introduction to Astrobiology page has further information to get you started.

What happens at the Academy?

The Academy schedule is mostly lectures and workshops where attendees are guided and supported by academic staff. Experts in their fields from around the UK and overseas teach and assist in the learning experience, and part of this is a great chance to meet these professionals and get an insight into their career. There are also socials down the pub for attendees to unwind and chat about the day.

We focus on the link between astrobiology and the curriculum as a principle method to create new lesson plans and activities for secondary schools across the UK. In 2014 & 2015, teachers from across the UK came together and produced lesson plans covering all areas of astrobiology that are now available on TES Resources.

Interested? Have a look at the practical information page to learn more.

Who can attend?

The Academy is open to science teachers and anyone with a science/technology background and good writing skills who are enthusiastic and self-motivated with interests in the fields of chemistry, biology, physics, geology, astronomy or engineering.  Applicants are expected to work together to create and edit astrobiology based lesson plans for secondary schools.  If you are excited by the idea of this science opportunity then register your interest for this year now!

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