News from our educational project on exoplanets

The project Exoplanets in schools (“Des exoplanètes à l’école”) is now well underway! This project, which aims to create educational resources on exoplanets and the search for life for elementary and secondary school staff in Quebec, is led by the Institute for Research on Exoplanets at the Université de Montréal, and funded by the NovaScience program of the ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation.

Completed phases of the project

Marie-Eve Naud, from iREx, and Julie Bolduc-Duval, from the Discover the Universe program, discussing with two teachers during a co-creation workshop on August 20, 2021.

Since February 2021, with our partners (Discover the Universe, École en réseau, Aestq) and various actors from the educational community, we have achieved several important steps, including:

  • the creation of a teacher community on Facebook, where we discuss several aspects of the project with school staff,
  • a first series of co-creation workshops with about 30 school staff members (elementary and secondary teachers, pedagogical advisors), to better understand the needs and expectations of the community (Spring 2021),
  • the design of activities for elementary and secondary schools (Summer 2021),
  • and a second series of co-creation workshops with a dozen elementary and secondary school teachers to continue the creation of activities (August-September 2021).
Next up: testing period

This fall, we are creating more complete versions of the proposed activities and materials, thanks to the excellent suggestions of the teachers we have consulted.

By the end of November, several activities, in a preliminary form, will be available to be tested by teachers motivated by this project. If you are interested, don’t hesitate to register (see below)!

Activities that will soon be ready for testing include, for elementary school students, a night sky observing challenge, the creation of a scale model of our Solar System and other planetary systems, and an activity to invent a planetary system, and for high school students, a guided discussion on types of exoplanets, and an activity on the possibility of extraterrestrial civilisations. All the information and materials will be provided, and teachers will be invited to give us their comments and suggestions through a web form, after they have facilitated the activity in their classroom.

Get involved in resource development!

If you are a school staff member and would like to get involved in the project, we need you!

There are many ways to get involved, such as testing an activity in your classroom, joining our community on Facebook to participate in discussions, or simply talking about our project with your colleagues.

Fill out the form at https://forms.gle/AZK8CdGnenzWK8sA6 to express your interest. If you already filled out the form last winter, there is no need to contact us again, we will contact you in soon!

About our partners
About the NovaScience program

The ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation‘s NovaScience program aims to promote a greater understanding of science and technology among youth and the general public, as well as the training of a new generation of scientists.

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