Junior Research Fellows introduced the observatory and the ESTCube-2 to pupils in digital lessons

Kairi Janson | 15.01.2018

On 10 and 12 January 2017, Junior Research Fellows at Tartu Observatory Maarja Kruuse and Hendrik Ehrpais got a chance to try out being teachers – they participated in the “Back to school“ programme as guests and taught digital lessons. Kruuse talked about how to investigate stars and Ehrpais explained how ESTCube-2 works.

Maarja Kruuse andmas \

Kruuse gave a video lesson to pupils from class 1 to 3. She talked about how she has led up to astronomy and explained en clair what a galaxy is and what are its components. She stated that there are many ways to investigate galaxies: her research topic are the distances between galaxies, whereas some researchers deal with the whole galaxy or the objects that are a part of it.

Kruuse showed the pupils around at the observatory so they could see what can be done here. Among other things Kruuse went to the large telescope tower where she was joined by Tõnis Eenmäe. He introduced the telescope and talked about how it can be used to investigate stars.

Kruuse’s digital lesson can be seen on this link.

Ehrpais’s guest lesson was meant for pupils from class 10 to 12. He also started the lesson by talking about how he managed to become part of the ESTCube’s team. He stressed that ESTCube members need to have problem solving skills because space technology can only develop through making mistakes and solving the problems.

Ehrpais took the audience to a laboratory to show how ESTCube-2 is being built and how it works. He introduced the satellite by showing its prototype in the computer. He also talked about the differences between ESTCube-1 and ESTCube-2. Other than that, Ehrpais showed the leading room of the ESTCube mission and explained what the core of the futuristic electric solar wind sail that ESTCube are testing out is.

Ehrpais’s digital lesson can be seen here.

The guest lessons were a gift from the “Back to School“ team to Estonia. All together, there will be 100 digital lessons on important actual topics made on the 100th birth year of Estonia.

Photo: „Back to School“ programme