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'Down to earth' lesson for science teacher

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Mr. Shipley

A Science teacher from the Isle of Man has been hand-picked to take part in a prestigious earth science course in the United States.

Andrew Shipley, who teaches physics at St Ninian’s High School, will participate in the Space Across the Curriculum graduate level development programme for educators.

The Our Earth Revealed course will be hosted by the Space Foundation at its headquarters in Colorado Springs from 11 to 15 June.

The Space Foundation is a global, non-profit organisation and is a leader in space awareness activities, space-related educational enterprises and space-related research. Its programmes bring space into the classroom.

The course offers teachers from around the globe an insight into Earth’s geological history. They will study weathering, erosion, natural disasters and global climate change. Mr Shipley will return with ideas that can be applied across the curriculum and to students of all ages.

He’s particularly looking forward to studying geology as it relates to planet formation via a visit to the Garden of the Gods.

The Space Foundation invited Mr Shipley onto the course, which it is funding, after he attended an event it hosted for teachers during its visit to the Island in February.

Speaking at the presentation were Elliot Pulham, CEO of the Space Foundation, and Iain Probert, Vice-President of Education.

The high-profile visitors were impressed by the work Mr Shipley has done with pupils on space-related themes including mentoring teams to two successive finals of the Conrad Foundation’s Spirit of Innovation Awards, held in the States.

Mr Shipley said his visit would strengthen the Island’s links with the Space Foundation and would allow him to devise lessons that would encourage young people into this important niche industry for the Island.

‘I feel extremely privileged to have been offered this opportunity to represent St Ninian’s High School and the Department of Education and Children on this course,’ he said. ‘It will be a fantastic opportunity to meet other teachers and to develop my own understanding and knowledge of processes that affect the earth. I’ll incorporate what I learn into planning lessons, activities and experiences in the classroom.’

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