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Educational Resources

In collaboration with the DCU STEM Teacher Internship Programme and UCD School of Education have developed some new teacher resources for the Earth and Space strand of the Junior Cycle Science Curriculum Specification as part of our MagIE Schools Network project.

These resources have been developed using the Investigative Science Learning Environment (ISLE) Framework. See this document for an example of how ISLE works for an investigation into plant growth.

Check out our first Rich Task below and some Partner Resources, watch this space for more Rich Tasks soon!

Rich Task 1: Does the Sun have Seasons?

Understanding the role the Sun plays in our lives is fundamental to understanding the Sun-Earth system, which is part of Earth & Space Learning Outcome 4.

This activity provides an opportunity for students to make initial observations and to identify patterns without teacher guidance. The students will also formulate questions arising from initial observations which can be discussed as a class. This activity acts as the first stage of the ISLE process: Noticing a pattern and forming a hypothesis.

- Teacher Resource
- Worksheet
- Prompt Images
- Expected Student Responses
This activity provides an opportunity for students to prompt investigation of how we can prove the Sun rotates and to connect the concept of rotation of the Earth and rotation of the Sun.

- Teacher Resource
- Worksheet
- Prompt Images
- Expected Student Response
This activity asks students to analyse the differences between Earth and the Sun through examining the states of matter of different elements on each.

- Teacher Resource
- Worksheet
- Expected Student Responses
This activity asks students to model the formation of plasma in the Sun with a simple boiling water experiment and acting out particle collisions. There are two versions of the worksheet for either a student activity or a teacher demonstration.

- Teacher Resource
- Worksheet A (student activity)
- Worksheet B (teacher demonstration)
- Expected Student Response
This activity asks students to investigate magnets, magnetic fields, the connection between electricity and magnetism and apply this knowledge to the context of solar flares on the Sun.

- Teacher Resource
- Worksheet
- Solar Images
- Compass Print Out
- Expected Student Responses
This activity asks students to investigate the solar cycle (an 11-year cycle of periods of activity and periods of quiet on the Sun). Students will use a table of data, image prompts, and also graphing the solar cycle using Excel.

- Teacher Resource
- Worksheet
- Excel Sheet 1
- Excel Sheet 2
- Excel Sheet 3
- Expected Student Responses
This activity asks students to reflect on all of the activities which they have completed to address the original hypothesis: Does the Sun have Seasons?

- Teacher Resource
- Worksheet
- Expected Student Response

Partner Resources

The SFI Discover Astronomical Midlands Project uses the recently constructed Irish Low Frequency Array (I-LOFAR) and Education Centre at Birr Castle, Co. Offaly, to engage students, teachers, and members of the public in rural communities in the Midlands of Ireland with astronomy. There is a variety of Primary Science and Junior Cycle space resources available on their website.
The Astro Science Challenge is an interactive, space science adventure for children aged 7-11. The adventure consists of six ‘episodes’, each with a new science-based challenge for the students to complete. Resources available on their website include episodes on space weather hazards, coding, and living in space!
The Irish branch of the ESA European Space Education Resource Office (ESERO Ireland) provides primary and secondary level classroom resources related to both Earth and space science.
Universe Awareness (UNAWE) is an International Astronomical Union endorsed programme that uses the beauty and grandeur of the Universe to encourage young children, particularly those from an underprivileged background, to have an interest in science and technology and foster their sense of global citizenship from the earliest age. UNAWE was founded in 2004 and is active in 40 countries comprising a global network of almost 500 astronomers, teachers and other educators.
Universe Awareness has started a collaboration with the European Southern Observatory (ESO) to produce the astronomy news service Space Scoop — versions of ESO Science and Photo Releases that are written specifically for children aged between 7 and 11 years old. Space Scoop is meant to feed children's curiosity about the Universe, by allowing them to access ESO releases. Space Scoop will be available online at the same time as the original version of a release, so children can learn about the latest developments in astronomy as they happen.

STEM Teacher Internship Programme