Galaxies

This resource has been devised by The Royal Observatory Edinburgh with the Institute of Physics Scotland, to inspire secondary science classes. They are mainly used by students aged 11-14 years but can be used from upper primary to upper secondary.

Students investigate galaxies. They use data from real research in group work and model-making. To summarize their findings, classes are encouraged to present their work, for example, through a short film. The activities have been devised so that they can be used independently in the classroom by science teachers, or with an introductory session from the Royal Observatory Edinburgh either at a school or at the observatory.

Looking at the Virgo cluster of galaxies, students will investigate what a galaxy is, what different types there are and how these galaxies are distributed within the cluster. By building a model of the cluster, students can investigate patterns relating to where the different types of galaxies are found, and form conclusions about how the cluster might have changed over time.

The “Introduction to Galaxies” film can be used to introduce the concept of galaxies to students. The film “Using the Deep Space Galaxies Resources” shows a group of teachers carrying out the tasks and explains what is involved.

For background information about galaxies you can download the teacher’s notes.

The students’ activity sheets are “Galaxies Fact Sheet”, “Galaxies Task Sheet” and “Galaxy Flags”. There are also four galaxy images to download.

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