The sign-up for astronomy club was done through the school system. I was first introduced to the club through my love of physics, some of my friends encouraged me to try something which I had not done before. My previous knowledge of astronomy also helped me make the decision to join in order to use my strengths/ previous knowledge (LO1) and to learn new things and challenge my thinking (LO2) with new ideas. My diverse group of peers also gave me a better perspective into varying perspectives in astronomy. Another reason for my motivation to join the astronomy club was that I took HL physics and our school takes the astrophysics option, therefore the astronomy club was an excellent prerequisite.
G12 Note: The astronomy club was helpful and I’m realising this to its full effect now because I can see the change in my ease of understanding while currently studying the Astrophysics option.
Since we were a new group of students who came together for the joy of astronomy, none of us knew each other very well. So, the first few weeks of experiences were planned through unanimous voting procedures until we were comfortable enough with each other to nominate leaders. Since we were in grade 11, it was difficult for many of us to bear the responsibilities of being a leader and keeping up with the IB. On this note, the leaders were Grade 9s and 10s who were very dedicated. The main preparation we underwent was for a science fair our school organised at that time, the purpose of this event was a chance for all the high school science activity clubs coming together and showcasing their amazing work. Preparation was done in terms of mental fortitude and awareness so that we always stayed positive throughout the course of the activity even if things didn’t always go the way we wanted them to. The second thing that we needed to prepare ourselves for was collaborating and sharing our ideas and ultimately presenting them in front of the group for peer assessment. We were also given the chance to introduce the class to wonderful astrophysics demonstration experiments that were feasible in the lab nut helped us understand a certain phenomenon of the universe.
During my time attending the astronomy club, we conducted many different types of experiments relating to astronomy but sometimes to other fields of science also. Some activities that took place were:
- Gravity slingshot extended essay presentation
- Participation in the science fair showing the life cycles of main-sequence stars and other entities in the universe such as black holes, supernovae and neutron stars.
- Presentations of astronomical concepts and phenomenon
- Conducting experiments with water and chemical and other safe substances to understand the mock structure and behaviour of large stellar bodies
- Watching documentaries about the cosmos, understanding everything from how consciousness came into being to the nature of space, time and everything.
All of these activities were repeated in a semi-cyclical manner most of the time. Sometimes many people wanted a different activity or a repetition of a previous activity because they might have found it very interesting and engaging.