Universe Awareness participated in a series of teacher training workshop in Reykjavik in the days preceding the 20th March 2015 Solar Eclipse. The workshops were organised by the University of Iceland and the Astronomical Society of Seltjarnarness in collaboration with UNAWE Iceland, LCOGT and Universe in the Classroom programme of Cardiff University.
These workshops trained more than 90 primary school teachers from more than 30 schools across Iceland. The trainings provided teachers with the knowledge, tools and confidence to introduce their pupils to the concepts and understanding of the Solar System, with a focus on the Sun-Earth-Moon system, eclipses and seasons. Each participating school received a Universe in a Box and a tutorial on how to use the LCOGT robotic telescopes in the classroom. The workshops were organised by the Astronomical Society of Seltjarnarness, University of Iceland School of Education and Sævar Helgi Bragason and facilitated by Pedro Russo (UNAWE/Leiden University), Edward Gomez (LCOGT) and Haley Gomez (Cardiff University).
These workshops were part of a series of public engagement activities centred around the 20 March 2015 Solar Eclipse, which was 97.5-99.5% partial in Iceland. The main highlights were: the free distribution of eclipse goggles to all students in Iceland between 6 and 16 years; the eclipse observing session at University of Iceland and 2 public talks by the astronomers Mark McCaughrean from the European Space Agency and Haley Gomez from Cardiff University, UK .
On 20 March, most of Iceland had clear skies, which enabled most of the population (and tourists) to observe the Eclipse. In Reykjavik around 2000 people gathered in front of the University for this unique event.
The next Solar Eclipse in Iceland will be August 12 2026 and will be total on the west side of the country. Hopefully, all the pupils in Iceland will remember the 2015 event.
UNAWE would like to thank Sævar Helgi Bragason for his hard work preparing and delivering the incredible activities during the Eclipse week.