Robotic Telescopes in Education: From Young Learners to Cosmic Explorers
For the last 13 years, Las Cumbres Observatory's unique global network of robotic telescopes has been used by educators and researchers alike to improve our understanding of the Universe. We invite you to be involved in using these cutting edge resources with your students. Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO) currently operates 21 telescopes located at sites all around the world. These telescopes are connected via the internet and centrally controlled to act as a single scientific instrument, allowing users to explore the wonders of the cosmos at any time of day, from anywhere in the world.
To support educators teaching STEM subjects, in particular Astronomy and Physics, LCO’s education team have created a collection of resources that allow learners to use our network and data archive to carry out scientific investigations. These resources include interactive web applications , such as Star in a Box which allow users (ages 12-18) to simulate the lifecycle of a star; SEROL which takes students (ages 7-14) on a journey from novices to cosmic explorers, challenging them to observe with our robotic telescopes and analyse their data; and Agent Exoplanet which invites students (ages 14-18) to study distant planets.
In addition to these online applications, on the LCO website you will find an extensive collection of lesson plans for hands-on and digital astronomy activities. These activities are suitable for students from kindergarten to Grade 12, and you can refine your search by age group. These activities include, but are by no means limited to, guides on how to create a coloured astronomical image (ages 6-18), how to measure the diameter of the Sun (ages 10-16), and how to calculate the age of the Universe (ages 16-18).
In addition to our in-house education resources, since 2017 LCO has been working with 17 independant education partners around the world. These innovative programs use our robotic telescopes to educate and inspire. All of our partners are currently accepting members to join their programs, if you would like to join one of these education programs, please look through our list of partners to find one that fits yours needs.
LCO website: https://lco.global/
LCO education repository: https://lco.global/education/resources/
LCO education partner program list: https://lco.global/education/partners/
Sarah Eve Roberts
Education Specialist, Las Cumbres Observatory