My Students visiting De Sterrenwacht

Sterrenwacht 10

More pictures of these events can be seen on my Flickr page.

One of my colleagues recently asked me if I knew who to contact at Sterrenwacht Limburg to discuss a school trip to the science centre. And so the Brunssummerheide forest, where it is located, became my ‘office’ for a few days. We had arranged sessions of three mornings, with on each morning, two groups visiting: about 150 students in total.

Since Steven and I both volunteer now and then, we prepared a lecture ourselves and that’s how my boyfriend ended up teaching my students! Norbert and I did the other two sessions and it was a success. We also had a look in the dome and we used a solar telescope to look at the Sun!

Not many of these students know about my discovery, as I’m not teaching the first year groups this year. They seemed to enjoy this unexpected trip though and I think they learned a thing or two, judging by the “wow-s” in the audience. In fact, some of my colleagues had said they learned something new about our solar system too. Besides this and the playground (yes), they also really liked the map on which their star signs show up in lights.

As a teacher, I had a great time too. I only managed to set the alarm off once, but we were saved by the lovely neighbour, who’s not unfamiliar with such visits. And besides the fact my students were visiting the Sterrenwacht, I also like that I learned a few things from Steven myself. He makes a good teacher. While showing the size of Jupiter compared to Earth, he explained their relative size by calling Jupiter the bunny hole and Earth a marble.

One of my students still thought Jupiter (and that amazing storm!) looked more like a wooden floor though. And when I told them about the Moon landings, one of them asked me if that was done by André Kuipers! I was also asked if “female aliens” exist (as opposed to male aliens, which we have already confirmed, I assume?)

We have already decided we would like to do this again next year. Thanks to everyone involved for making this happen!