HundrED, a global education nonprofit organisation, researches inspiring innovations in education from around the world and annually selects the most inspiring 100 initiatives. Educational practices had to meet the criteria of being innovative, impactful and scalable to make it onto the list. For the 2019 list, HundrED has recognized IAU astroEDU among the top 100 innovations.
IAU astroEDU – a project from the International Astronomical Union – is an open-access platform that uses the familiar peer-review workflow of scientific publications, to improve the standards of quality, visibility and accessibility of educational activities. This online platform is a place where educators can discover, review, change, and share astronomy- and space-related activities for primary and secondary education, and also have their activities peer-reviewed by professionals in education and science.
Saku Tuominen, CEO of HundrED, said: “Spreading innovations such as AstroEDU across borders can be a gamechanger for education, worldwide. We will continue to encourage as many stakeholders as possible including schools, educators, administrators, students and organizations to get involved so that we can work towards a positive future.”
It is not another web repository for educational resources but a mechanism for peer-reviewing and publishing high-quality astronomy education activities in an open access way,” says Michael Fitzgerald (IAU astroEDU Editor-in-Chief, Edith Cowan University).The peer review involves input from both a content specialist (scientist) and a pedagogical expert (educator). This assures educators that the activities are both scientifically current and address pedagogical and practical realities of the classroom. The activities are inquiry-based covering open-ended inquiry, guided inquiry, structured inquiry, project-based learning, and fun learning, in line with 21st-century skills needs. “In this new era of education, education is becoming more self-directed, and I look forward to developing versions that adapt to student, not just teacher, use”, concludes Fitzgerald.
IAU astroEDU hands-on activity implemented by secondary school students.
Innovating across digital learning environments, IAU AstroEDU also announces the release of new educational videos to explain the unknown universe, spanning concepts of black holes, dark matter and dark energy. The videos feature astronomers Thomas Russell (researcher at University of Amsterdam), Henk Hoekstra (professor at Leiden University) and Maria Cristina Fortuna (PhD candidate at Leiden University), respectively, and provide incisive explanations supporting primary and secondary school activities on the topic. Hoekstra adds, “IAU AstroEDU is an excellent platform to bridge the gap between cutting-edge research and schools and we hope to see young minds engaged in solving the Universe’s most difficult mysteries.” The videos and activities are freely available on the IAU astroEDU platform.
IAU astroEDU began in 2013 as an International Astronomical Union Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) project in collaboration with the Astronomy & Society Group at Leiden University and Las Cumbres Observatory. In the last 5 years, astroEDU was awarded the first Scientix Award for Best Resources in Science, Technology, Mathematics and Engineering and was nominated for Open Knowledge Foundation Award and also launched the first language version in Italian. This recognition also honours the astronomy education community, who contribute to IAU astroEDU.The development of the new IAU astroEDU activities and videos was funded by Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The videos were produced in collaboration with the science communication and strategic design studio Science Now.
- The complete list of this year’s HundrED innovations
- HundrED Innovations
- The 5 new activities and accompanying videos:
astroEDU Managing Editor
Leiden University, the Netherlands
Mobile: +31 654372658
Lars Lindberg Christensen
IAU Press Officer
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 89 320 06 761
Mobile: +49 173 38 72 621