Welcome to science club central, where participating AfRIS schools can get support, ideas, encouragement and prizes for setting-up and running a new science or STEM club. By working through a list of science tasks and activities (see below), club members can make progress towards gaining bronze, silver and gold achievement awards from the National Schools’ Observatory (NSO). In addition to a shiny certificate, clubs will also be rewarded with some fun science equipment for each different award they achieve, as follows:
- Bronze Award – pack of mini-meteorites
- Silver Award – Celestron Binoculars
- Gold Award – Celestron Astromaster 130 Telescope
If you want to start a new science club, then have a chat with the AfRIS team when they visit your school. As you complete your chosen tasks, you should post evidence on the AfRIS STEM clubs forum.
Bronze Award – Primary
To achieve the bronze award, your new club must first complete the first two steps.
1. Science club leader or teacher must register with the NSO and create student accounts for each club member.
2. Members should each request an image of a planet using the Liverpool Telescope’s observing system.
After which, club members should complete four of the following tasks:
- Keep a moon diary for a month.
- Build a sundial at your school.
- Create a Solar System poster.
- Members should each request an image of the Moon using the Liverpool Telescope.
- Design, draw and describe a club planet mascot.
- Assemble a full-moon moonsaic.
- Build and launch a water or air powered small rocket.
- Complete the ‘Play-doh Planets” and “Solar System in my pocket” activities.
You can view detailed guidance for each of the activities here.
Silver Award – Primary
To achieve the silver award, club members must complete five of the following tasks:
- Recreate an asteroid impact using a sandpit or a tray of flour.
- Observe and create a 3-colour image using the Liverpool Telescope
- Build your own mini-telescope using a cardboard tube and lenses.
- Meteor watch – spend a clear night outdoors looking for meteors and satellites.
- Create a pinhole camera using items from the kitchen.
- Observe a galaxy using the Liverpool Telescope and measure its size.
- Create a biography of an astronaut using PowerPoint.
- Use pastels to create a piece of space-art.
- Members should post a question on the Ask an Astronomer forum.
- Constellation hunt – see how many constellations you can find on a clear night.
Remember to post evidence from each task on the STEM clubs forum.
Gold Award – Primary
To achieve the gold award, club members must complete five of the following tasks:
- Make a time-lapse video of a clear night sky – what do you see.
- Complete the Mission to Mars activity – plan your own Mars mission.
- Eggnaut – design a re-entry vehicle to prevent an egg cracking.
- Undertake the NSO’s lunar features activity.
- Collaborate with a school in Portugal or Africa to calculate the size of the Earth.
- Invent something useful to help astronauts on the International Space Station.
- Design and build your own orrery.
- Mars Diary – imagine you are own Mars, write a 7-day diary of your activities.
- Build your own spectroscope using an old CD.
- Throw an after-school star-gazing party for your friends and parents.
If you would like some advice on starting a science club, then please get in touch.