Astronomy, space research and society

Ref: C2342742

Astronomy and space might seem to some people to be remote, distant topics with very little use to our everyday lives. However, this is certainly not the case. We will explore some of these applications - from civilizations thousand of years ago using the heavens as a basis for calendars to the new materials developed for space travel that find applications that benefit us all. Learners will be encouraged to carry out small-group research into such materials and, if possible, bring along examples to class. The stars and planets on view in the summer night sky will be discussed as well as the latest astronomy and space stories.

Course aim

To provide an introduction to the applications of astronomy and the 'spin-offs' from space research that now form part of our everyday lives. We will also consider stars/planets on view in the summer sky and discuss relevant news stories.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Describe TWO applications of astronomy to our modern lives.
  • Have researched the uses to mankind of TWO materials originally developed for use in space.
  • Bring to class an example of a material originally developed for the space industry.
  • Recognise stars and planets in the summer sky.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You will be asked to participate in a small group project

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)
  • Please bring a note book and pen. As this course takes place on spring evenings, no outside viewing of stars/planets will be possible during class hours.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation

Download full course information sheet

Astronomy, space research and society

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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