The European project « EU-HOU Hands-On Universe, Europe. Bringing interactive frontline astronomy to the classroom» is aiming at providing ready-to-use resources, inspired from research activities, for secondary schools. It gathers efforts from 8 European partners countries. Tools (for astronomical observations, software SalsaJ for image handling and analysing…) and pedagogical resources such as exercises, are prepared by each partner, in their national language and in English. They need to be tested, translated and adapted to curricula of each partner. This validation is essential to allow on a longer term a dissemination toward more classrooms and teachers. It is also an efficient mean to disseminate the European astronomical research highlights. Each country organises a program of pilot middle and high schools (« pilots » all throughout). Within a multidisciplinary framework (multimedia, sciences, English, technology), these pilots will contribute to the pedagogical and language adaptation of the resources and tools. They will have also to test and validate them in classrooms. Each pilot will in return have access to these resources and tools beforehand. A call of opportunity for pilots is now open for fall 2005 Program for pilot middle/high schools EU-HOU is funded at 44% through the European program MINERVA (SOCRATES) for a two years period. University Pierre and Marie Curie (UPMC) in Paris and the other partners complete to 100%. Some money will be proposed to pilots who will strongly contribute to the adaptation of the resources and tools, under a contract with the corresponding partner institution.
Pedagogical resources: The idea is to put pupils in a situation as close as possible to a research one, therefore to possibly propose hands-on activities based on real astronomical data, inspired from research. Each exercise, multimedia, should ideally be performed in 1 or 2 classrooms if it is linked to the curriculum. During the testing and adaptation phase proposed to pilots, these activities (both the exercises and the software SalsaJ) will perhaps be more suitable for pupils’ projects. Multimedia tools for observations: Real time observations are a major output of the project. This opportunity will be primarily proposed to pilots interested for the school year 2005-2006. Observations coupled with classrooms from the UK will be organized on the optical robotic Faulkes telescopes in Hawaii and Australia. A radio-telescope is being developed by our partner from Sweden, and real time observations will be possible in 2005-2006. A Webcam « Skyview » system is being developed by our partner from Poland, and will be provided to pilots interested in backyard observations. Organisation: The project coordinator is University Pierre and Marie Curie (UPMC). The PCC (Pedagogic and Coordinating Committee), with 2 people from each of the 7 other partner countries, manages and evaluates the project at the European level. The SAC (Scientific Advisory Committee) gathers European personalities, external to the project, known for their involvement in innovative education in sciences. SAC evaluates progress and pertinence of the project, and formulates recommendations for the PCC and the coordinator. It produces a concise annual report which will be forwarded to national authorities. At the level of each partner country, 4-6 teacher resource agents (TRA) will represent the project. These TRA will be trained in English to the resources developed within the project and will organise the training of other teachers in their respective countries. They will serve as link for pilot schools. 40 pilot schools per country will contribute to the pedagogical adaptation of all outputs. European training: 2 training sessions in English will be proposed to TRA. The first one should be held in fall 2005.
Organisation: The European partners F-HOU Dr Roger FERLET Dr Anne-Laure MELCHIOR Université Pierre et Marie Curie, 4 Place Jussieu, 75251 Paris Cedex 5; FRANCE Gr-HOU Dr Margarita METAXA Arsakeio High School 63 eth. Antistaseos 15231 Athens, GREECE It-HOU Alessandra ZANAZZI Dipartimento Science Centre; Fondazione IDIS-Città della Scienza; Via Coroglio, 104 80124 Napoli, ITALY Pl-HOU Pr Lech MANKIEWICZ Center for Theoretical Physics ; Polish Academy of Sciences; Al. Lotnikow 32/46 ; 02-668 Warsaw, POLAND Pt-HOU Dr. Rosa DORAN NUCLIO, Núcleo Interactivo de Astronomia R. Esc. Sec. De Carcavelos, n° 134 3°D; 2775-567 Carcavelos, PORTUGAL Sp-HOU Pr Ana I. GÓMEZ DE CASTRO Instituto de Astronomia y Geodesia (CSIC-UCM) Facultad de CC Matematicas Universidad Complutense de Madrid; 28040 Madrid, SPAIN Se-HOU Dr Cathy HORELLOU Onsala Space Observatory Chalmers University of technology; 439 92 Onsala, SWEDEN UK-HOU Robert HILL Armagh Planetarium College Hill; Armagh Northern Ireland; BT61 9DB, UNITED KINGDOM
Practical organisation: For each countries: 4-6 resource agents 40 pilot schools 1 resource produced in the national language + in English Pedagogical and language adaptation of all outputs (exercises, manuals, etc.) w
Pedagogical resources: exercices F-HOU: Radial velocity method for detecting extrasolar planets Gr-HOU: Stellar population analysis through spectral classification It-HOU: Masses measurement in the Universe Pl-HOU: Variable stars studies Pt-HOU: Model of the stellar structure (Applet java) Se-HOU: Radio observation of hydrogen in the Milky Way Sp-HOU: The solar system for experimenting mathematics (Applets java) UK-HOU: Voyage through space (EduSpace/ESA) The following exercises are being developed by each of the partners in their national language and in English. The adaptation in the national languages and curricula will be performed by pilot schools with the help of teacher resource agents. These agents will participate in two European training sessions (in English) and will contribute to the training of other teachers in their respective countries (in their language). A preliminary version of the resources will be available on the EU-HOU web site in June 2005.
Pedagogical resources: SalsaJ software Software for image handling designed to be a comprehensive tool for doing a large number of applications. Java software (easily portable on different platforms) derived from a research tool ImageJ developed for medical imagery and biology. The interface has been adapted for a pedagogical use in astronomy. The goal is to produce a users-friendly tool allowing data handling in classrooms (images, spectroscopy, etc.). In the present version, the development (done by the French team) is oriented toward a trans-disciplinary use of astronomical data. On a longer term, a natural extension in the field of biology will be possible. As for the exercises, this software tool will be freely available through the web for different platforms, together with an adaptation in the different languages of the project.
Multimedia observing tools: Webcam system – Skyview (PL-HOU) The Polish partner (Center for Theoretical Physics ; Polish Academy of Sciences) has designed a low cost Webcam system which allows classrooms to perform themselves night observations. A complete software manual is available, together with pedagogical tools for studying, for instance, the variability of the brightest stars. In the framework of the EU-HOU project, 20 Webcam systems will be provided to each partner country, for the pilot secondary schools.
Multimedia observing tools: Radio-telescope (SE-HOU) The Swedish partner (Onsala Space Observatory, Chalmers University of technology) is developing a prototype radio- telescope which will be dedicated to real time observations via Internet for pilot schools. On a longer term, it will be possible for schools or science museums to duplicate this radio-telescope (for ~ 8000 €).
Multimedia observing tools: Faulkes optical telescopes (UK-HOU) Panoramic view of Faulkes Telescope South at sunset Composite image of the Faulkes Telescope North and the Milky Way, courtesy of Nik Szymanek Haleaka, île Maui, Hawaii Siding Spring Observatory, New South Wales, Australie Two 2m optical telescopes, located in professional observatories, are dedicated to education in the UK. The EU-HOU pilot schools will have an access to observing time during 2005-2006. Collaborations with British schools will be necessary and strongly encouraged. External cost: £400 per 30 min real time (access to a simulator, etc.)
Pedagogical resources: Exercices SalsaJ software Observing tools: Webcam Radiotelescope Faulkes Telescopes Tests of the software : procedures for installation, portability linux/windows/mac fonctionalities with the resources clarity/efficiency of the documentation reliability and ergonomics of the man-machine interface Contribution to : the definition of the level of use (middle – high – expert) the implementation of new fonctionalities Pedagogical and language adaptation of the exercices and tools Production of documents in their language Test and validation in classrooms Expected pilot activities :
National organisation: summary MINERVA is funding what is done at the European level in English, and the adaptation of the resources in the different languages. Resource agents European training in English Middle/high schools pilots Pedagogical and language adaptation of the resources support Teachers training in national language Funded by MINERVA Funded by MINERVA