The Musical Universe: Introducing Interdisciplinary Astronomy-Music Workshops Into Primary Schools

Astronomy Education in Practice
5th Shaw-IAU Workshop
Wednesday Nov. 29, 2023
UTC: 4:05 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.
Thursday Nov. 30, 2023
UTC: 8:35 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.

School workshops can be an excellent way to introduce young pupils to all kinds of academic topics, and inspire them to learn. Ideally, a school workshop contains several elements to allow the pupils to approach the topic from different angles, and reinforce their learning.

We developed a pilot of 3 workshops combining astronomy and musical composition, with both disciplines complementing each other. We delivered these workshops in three different P5 (9-10 year olds) class rooms in Scotland. We evaluated the workshops by interviewing the class room teachers before, immediately after, and several months after the workshops. We find that the workshops had long-term positive impacts on both teachers and pupils, which we will report on in this talk.

About Anne-Marie Weijmans

Dr Anne-Marie Weijmans is a Reader (Associate Professor) in Astrophysics at the University of St Andrews. Her research is on the structure and evolution of galaxies, with a focus on their dark matter content. She regularly gives interactive astronomy talks and workshops in schools and museums, and she leads Shine: an interdisciplinary project that explores the properties of light and its use in modern astronomy research through science, art and music.