What is the NSO?

Moonsaic Workshop
Photograph courtesy of Chris Reed, photographer in residence
(Portsmouth Grammar School)

It has long been known that astronomy creates a sense of excitement and wonder in pupils of all ages. The National Schools’ Observatory (NSO) taps into that interest to further the pupil’s knowledge of science and mathematics, while at the same time improve their computer literacy and communications skills, strengthen critical thinking and give experience of the real-world application of science and technology.

Launched in 2004, the NSO has always been committed to providing outstanding public engagement as well as significant impact on teaching and learning within schools. The NSO currently has over 10,000 users engaging with the website resources and over 144,000 telescope observations requested since inception.

Free to schools in the UK and Ireland the NSO makes it possible for young people to study some of the amazing things that can be seen in the night sky for themselves with access to the world’s largest fully-robotic telescope, LJMU’s Liverpool Telescope.

NSO pupils gain more than just an astronomy education. By utilising the diverse backgrounds and skills of the team, the NSO uses astronomy to enhance their knowledge of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), through innovative workshops and online learning.