STEM Education – SEROL: From Young Children to Cosmic Explorers

For the last decade the Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO) has been carrying out research to further or understanding of the Universe using a unique network of robotic telescopes. We are now making these telescopes available to young learners through a brand new web app called Serol.

Through Serol students aged 7-14 use the LCO robotic telescopes to observe the wonders of the Universe and then practice their scientific skills by conducting simple analysis of their data.

Serol takes learners on a journey to become a “real cosmic explorer” as they much complete 15 challenges, each one focusing on a new cosmic object. Upon competition of a challenge learners are awarded an exclusive badge demonstrating their mastery of the topic. As well as observing with robotic telescopes, learners practice a range of scientific skills, from data collection to identification, analysis and drawing conclusions.

To help teachers bring the website into their classrooms a series of lesson plans have been designed with the help of experienced educators. These lessons include activities that help introduce learners to the concepts of robotic telescopes and observing, and introduce a variety of cosmic objects, from planets and comets to distant galaxies.

Other resources, such as a series of educational animated videos, a video game that helps explain queue-based observing, and a selection of papercraft models can be found on the Serol website.

For more information, visit serol.lco.global.

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