The UKCA’s fourth astrobiology academy has concluded. Teachers from across Scotland and from the US attended the three day Continuing Professional Development (CPD) event from July 4-6th. In addition to leaning about astrobiology with events and activities, the participants also wrote unit plans for Astrobiology in the Classroom. This year’s work focused on taking astrobiology lesson plans written in previous years and assembling them into whole astrobiology units (up to one year long) for teaching astrobiology in secondary schools across the UK.
This year the academy was supported by Dynamic Earth and was pleased to have the support of the National Space Centre through involvement of Christopher Carr and the UK Space Agency through the involvement of Susan Buckle.
Next year the Astrobiology Academy will begin one day astrobiology CPD events.
The ‘Astrobiology in the Classroom’ lesson plans can be found here.
The UKCA has published its first paper resulting from its deep subsurface science and exploration analog research at Boulby Mine, UK. The Centre uses the mine environment, an ancient 250 million year old Permian salt deposit, to carry out the testing of technologies for mining and future planetary exploration. The paper summarises the science and technology results from the first three of these campaigns.
Your can access the paper by following this link: Planetary Science and Exploration in the Deep Subsurface.
In July, the centre will be hosting its fourth underground analog campaign (MINAR 4) focusing on biosignatures in the deep subsurface. The campaign includes representatives from the Chinese Academy of Space Technology as well as universities across the UK and scientists from the Spanish Centre for Astrobiology.
The Centre’s Astrobiology Summer Academy is off to its fourth year. On July 4-6 2016, teachers from across the UK will come to Edinburgh to learn about astrobiology, write lesson plans and contribute towards putting astrobiology into the secondary school curriculum.
The Academy began in 2013 and since then over 1,500 teachers have accessed lesson plans from the initiative and over 50 teachers have taken part in the CPD event. Next year, the academy will be offering one day CPD events in astrobiology to teachers across the UK.
The web site for the initiative is at www.astrobiologyacademy.org