“Astrobiology has re-awakened me to science.”  Teacher attendee, Astrobiology Academy


Welcome to the Astrobiology Academy Homepage

The Astrobiology Academy is an exciting initiative to introduce primary and secondary teachers and trainee teachers to astrobiology, the science that considers the origin and evolution of life in the Universe and the possibility of life elsewhere. It is now in its fifth year.

Participants learn about astrobiology, how to use it to teach basic curriculum science and they also develop new activities and curriculum-based lesson plans

The Academy runs three main programmes:

1) It runs an annual short duration (two and a half days) Continuing Professional Development course (CPD) in Astrobiology, which in 2018 will run from July 9-11th (Monday morning to Wednesday lunch). You can register here. In the process, the course provides two and a half days of free CPD for teachers. No prior science knowledge is needed to attend the course.

2) It offers one day CPD events and teacher training events in collaboration with teacher training initiatives.

3) It runs a programme called ‘Life Beyond’ which is focused on taking astrobiology into the prison environment and enriching the lives of those serving terms in prisons.

The academy has been running since 2013. Since being established, the academy has been supported by the UK Space Agency, the NASA Astrobiology Institute, the Royal Astronomical Society, the Science & Technology Facilities Council and the National Space Academy.

What is Astrobiology?

“Exciting marriage of physics and biology in an interesting, modern context.” Teacher attendee, Astrobiology Academy

Some of the most interesting questions in science include:

  • How did life begin?
  • Is there life elsewhere in the Universe?
  • How does life survive in extremes?
  • What is the future of life in the Universe?

Within them are many areas of science from biology to physics and chemistry that can used to teach fundamental ideas and concepts in science in schools.

The Introduction to Astrobiology page has further information to get you started.

What happens at the residential CPD?

The residential CPD in Edinburgh is our main annual training event. It should fulfill any annual CPD requirement for teachers. The schedule is made up of informal talks and workshops where attendees are guided and supported by academic staff. We focus on the link between astrobiology and the curriculum as a principal method to create new lesson plans and activities for primary and secondary schools across the UK. Teachers from across the UK come together and develop new activities and lesson plans covering all areas of astrobiology that are also available on TES Resources.

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

“I was just not motivated and energised after a frankly long and tiring year. I was sad that the astrobiology academy was coming to an end. It was great seeing the enthusiasm of everyone in presenting the course and how much preparation and care they have taken with the course and us.” Teacher attendee, Astrobiology Academy

Who can attend?

The initiative is open to primary and secondary teachers and trainee teachers with an interest in science who are enthusiastic and self-motivated. However, you don’t need a background in science and the CPD assumes no science background.  Participants work together to create astrobiology based activities and lesson plans for primary and secondary schools.  If you are excited by the idea of this opportunity then register your interest for 2018 now!

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