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Coping with a New Curriculum: The Evolving Schools Program at the Carter Observatory, New Zealand

  • K. Leather (a1), F. Andrews (a1), R. Hall (a1) and W. Orchiston (a1)

Extract

Carter Observatory is the National Observatory of New Zealand and was opened in 1941. For more than ten years the Observatory has maintained an active education program for visiting school groups (see Andrews, 1991), and education now forms one of its four functions. The others relate to astronomical research; public astronomy; and the preservation of New Zealands astronomical heritage (see Orchiston and Dodd, 1995).

Since the acquisition of a small Zeiss planetarium and associated visitor centre in 1992, the public astronomy and education programs at the Carter Observatory have witnessed a major expansion (see Orchiston, 1995; Orchiston and Dodd, 1996). A significant contributing factor was the introduction by the government of a new science curriculum into New Zealand schools in 1995 (Science in the New Zealand Curriculum, 1995). “Making Sense of Planet Earth and Beyond” comprises one quarter of this curriculum, and the “Beyond” component is astronomy.

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Copyright

References

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Andrews, F., 1991, The Carter Observatory education program. Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia 9, 174.
Andrews, F. & Budding, E., 1992, Carter Observatory's 9-inch refractor: the Crossley connection. Southern Stars 34: 358366.
Leather, K., Andrews, F., Buckley, D., Carter, B., Hall, L., Hall, R., Hall, S., Leather, K., Leather, N., Matla, P., Orchiston, W., & Sule, C., 1997, Special school holiday programs at the Carter Observatory, Publications of the Astronomical of Australia, in press.
Orchiston, W., 1995, Public astronomy and education at the Carter Observatory: some recent developments. In Orchiston, W., Carter, B., and Dodd, R. (eds.). Astronomical Handbook for 1996, 5969, Carter Observatory, Wellington.
Orchiston, W. & Andrews, F., 1995, A cloudy night under the stars: “Overnight Extravaganzas” at the Carter Observatory, The Planetarian, 24, 1519.
Orchiston, W. & Dodd, R., 1995, A Brief History of the Carter Observatory, Carter Observatory, Information Sheet No. 1, Wellington.
Orchiston, W. & Dodd, R., 1996, Education and public astronomy programs at the Carter Observatory: an overview, Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia 13, 165172.
Orchiston, W., Andrews, F. & Budding, E., 1995, A History of the 23cm Refracting Telescope at the Carter Observatory, Carter Observatory, Information Sheet No. 13, Wellington.
Orchiston, W., Carter, B., Dodd, R. & Hall, R., 1997, Selling our Southern Skies: recent public astronomy developments at the Carter Observatory, New Zealand. This volume.
Richter, J. & Fraknoi, A., 1994, Matches made in heaven, Mercury, 23(5), 2427.
Science in the New Zealand Curriculum, 1995, Learning Media, Wellington.
Whitehouse, M.L., 1994, Geography with an astronomical slant in Nova Scotia schools, Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada 88, 277279.

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