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Astronomyprinter friendly page
Subject Astronomy
Level Upper secondary
Language English and French
Type Workshop, observations and experiments

The astrolabe is a fascinating object: that is why we have based our project on the idea that each student should have their own astrolabe and that it should be as beautiful as can be. In this project, students construct their own brass model of an astrolabe and learn how to use it.

Presented at the beginning of the school year, this astrolabe, thanks to the beauty of its complicated and somehow esoteric lines, draws attention and raises many questions: What is it for? How does it work? How is it calculated and made? Who invented it? Why?

From the concrete medium of the instrument, from its conception to its construction and its use, the search for the answers to these questions leads to numerous interdisciplinary activities in relation with the contents of the curriculum of the 10th grade (students from 15-16).

The three main objectives of this project are:

  • Firstly, to show the link between the different subjects. The students realise for themselves that the mathematical and physical principles used for the conception of the instrument are not only linked to the technological and industrial capacities for its construction but also to human culture, through our perception of the universe and the uses that motivated the invention of the astrolabe.
  • Secondly, to motivate learning and a genuine appropriation of knowledge.
  • Thirdly, to introduce the students to science and cultures in fields that are generally out of their reach.
Contact details
NamePhilippe Dutarte
Last update: 17 July 2007

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