Astrobiology Summer Academy concludes with new astrobiology lesson plans

The UKCA’s Astrobiology Summer Academy has concluded. This year the academy was split into two weeks. In the first week 20 students from across the UK came to Edinburgh to take part in a range of biology, geology and astronomy activities, including a live link up with Major Tim Peake in Star City and culminating in a presentation at The Dynamic Earth.


Following the student week, 11 teachers came to Edinburgh to work on astrobiology lesson plans. Fifteen lesson plans covering the ages of 11 to 16 were written.


The lesson plans include a rock cycle you can illustrate with chocolate, lessons on extremophiles, Mars exploration and learning about extinction and human impacts on the Earth.


The UK Centre for Astrobiology is making an ‘Astrobiology Lesson Plan Collection’ in the National STEM e-library where teachers can access these lesson plans. They’ll be available in the next month.


The academy was supported by the UK Space Agency and STFC. NASA also generously funded two graduate students, Gustavo Ramirez and Zach Grochau-Wright to take part and lecture on the course.


Thanks to all the teachers who came to Edinburgh to make the event an outstanding success and to achieve 3 days of astonishing productivity. If you know of any teachers interesting in contributing to this effort, let them know about ASA 2015!


You can see more information about the academy on our Facebook page ( or visit our web site:

Technology Transfer to Geological Repositories: Meeting Announcement

Announcement of Meeting


Linking science and technology in Geological Repositories


GeoRepNet and RATE meeting


British Geological Survey, Environmental Science Centre Keyworth, Nottingham, UK, NG12 5GG


23rd and 24th of October 2014


The disposal of waste, including radioactive waste (from the nuclear power industry and other nuclear applications) and carbon dioxide (to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and associated greenhouse warming) constitutes one of the major environmental technical challenges of the 21st Century and has great importance on the national and international level.


This year the STFC’s Global Challenges Network, GeoRepNet (Geological Repository Network) and RATE (Radioactivity and the Environment, NERC) program will combine forces for a joint meeting on Geological Repositories. This meeting will focus on linking science and technology in Geological Repositories. The scientific objectives of this meeting will be to present and discuss existing knowledge in the key challenge areas and identify unknown areas. And it will have a major focus on presenting and discussing existing technology that can be used to study major geophysical, geochemical and biological processes related to geological repositories. We also aim to identify technology to be translated from the space science sector, astronomy and particle and nuclear physics to the geological repository community and to seek new technology paths for technology translation.


You can register for this meeting at:


There is no registration fee.