On Saturday 11 April 2015 we held the inaugural UCT Department of Astronomy Open Day. We invited interested learners from Grades 10 - 12 from schools all over Cape Town to visit the department to learn more about Astronomy and what the job of an astronomer actually entails. Many members including staff, postdoctoral researchers and graduate students contributed to various aspects of the day including lectures, activities and demonstrations.
The day’s programme included:
- an introductory lecture on Astronomy
- a fun group activity session
- a tour of the UCT Astronomy Teaching telescope
- an introduction to radio astronomyusing a radio telescope in Poland via the internet to do observations
- learning to classify galaxies of different types using the citizen science Galaxy Zoo data
- discussion of what studying Astronomy involves at UCT and the transferable skills astronomy students pick up in their degrees that can also be applied outside of science in the world of work
A fun day was had by all and we intend to host another Open Day in the third quarter of this year which will be advertised on our website and Facebook page closer to the time.