ENHANCING STEM EDUCATION
The Perfect Match
A tour from the Stars to the Earth, from a leader astronomical observatory in the world to the best place for studying the Northern Lights and Space Weather.
A tour between two distant islands, which set together a perfect match for enhancing STEM education, activating international collaboration between students and raising 21st Century Skills.
The Astrophysics Institute of Canary Islands (IAC) and the observatories of the Canary Islands have been important pillars in astrophysical research worldwide for many years and, in particular, in the study of the Sun. On the other hand, the Science and Cosmos Museum, MCC, has a crucial role in scientific and technological dissemination in Tenerife. The opportunity to visit these centers, to be in contact with current research, the "state of the art" of instrumentation, attend conferences of scientists and, especially, perform practical tasks related to astrophysics, is a unique experience for young students.
Observing from Teide Observatory
During the gathering in Tenerife, RockStar students perform observations under one of the most fascinating starry nights of the world. They use the naked eye, small telescopes, and professional telescopes to explore and understand stellar objects and, in particular, our star the Sun.
Exploring the IAC
The possibility to visit state of art technology and talk directly with engineers and scientists is another important adding value of being in Tenerife. It enriches the active learning experiece based on problem solving from Teide Observatory tasks. Students work together in international groups to analyse and report their findings.
Social activities are an important part during RockStar gatherings. They focus not only on making the experiece more fun and help the participants getting close to new friends from other countries and cultures, but also to activate abilities related to 21st century skills, like communication, collaboration, and creativity.
Andøya Space Center
The National Center for Space-related Education NAROM develops several educational programs related to space science and technology (STEM). NAROM is located in Andøya, just under the aurora borealis oval activity. NAROM is part of the Andøya Space Center (ASC), one of the most important centers in Europe for Northern Lights research. ASC has been operative for studying the Northern Lights for more than 50 years. This is done by using sounding rockets. NAROM develops several space-science related practical courses for students using the ASC infrastructure.
Observing the Northern Lights
NAROM provides an extraordinary localization and infrastructure to achieve on-site learning experiences for understanding the Sun-Earth connexion in general and, in particular, the science behind the Northern Lights, higher layers of the atmosphere and climate, focusing on the use of hands-on activities.
A typical course in NAROM focuses on practical activities that include the preparation of sensors to measure different parameters in the atmosphere, the preparation and release of atmospheric balloons, payload integration, mounting the rocket, tests, launch operation, telemetry for taking data, analysis, and conclusions.
The Big Picture
By setting together the learning outcomes of the RockStar tour from the Stars to the Earth, using the preparations at the local schools and the on-site activities at Tenerife and Andøya, the students will complete a motivating STEM educational experience for the understanding of the Sun-Earth relation.
What do you think is going to be your best RockStar memory in a couple of years?
"THE SOCIAL LIFE AND ALL THE NEW FRIENDS BOTH INTERNATIONAL AND NATIONAL I GOT. MEETING PEOPLE WITH SIMILAR INTEREST CAN BE COMPARED TO FINDING TWO PIECES OF A PUZZLE WHICH FIT ON THE FIRST TRY, TRULY AMAZING."
"ROCKSTAR WAS THE SPARK THAT IGNITED AN INTEREST IN PHYSICS FOR ME, I HOPE I WILL REMEMBER THAT. I HAVE NO DOUBTS I'LL FORGET OR LOSE CONTACT WITH ANY OF MY NEWFOUND FOREIGN FRIENDS. THE BEST MEMORY LIES BETWEEN THESE TWO."
"I THINK MY BEST MEMORY WILL BE FRIENDSHIPS I'VE BUILD OVER THESE 2 TRIPS. I HAVE LEARNED ABOUT CULTURAL DIFFERENCES AND TRAINED MY ENGLISH. IN A COUPLE OF YEARS, I THINK I'LL REMEMBER THE FIRST NIGHT ON ANDØYA WHEN I SAW THE AURORAS (NORTHERN LIGHTS), AN EXPERIENCE I'LL REMEMBER FOREVER"