STudents As plaNetary Defenders (StAnD) was in the spotlight in Turin, Italy!

During the 5th Training Course for Teachers, organised by INAF – Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica and the Department of Physics of the Università degli Studi di Torino , Senior Researcher Dr. Daniele Gardiol presented this exciting project to a packed audience of 230 people, mainly school teachers as well as other professionals and students.


Daniele Gardiol presenting StAnD
Daniele Gardiol presenting StAnD at the 5th Training Course for Teachers, Turin.

StAnD is aimed at secondary school teachers and their students, bringing outer space directly into the classroom through the observation of meteors, as well as outside in the hunt for meteorites. 

Among other benefits, StAnD will provide teacher training on how to use robotic telescopes and software, and how to operate and interpret the meteor images acquired. Students will have the opportunity to do real scientific research, with a good chance of discovering new asteroids while studying in more detail the properties of known asteroids and comets by using robotic telescopes in observatories around the world. 

After the presentation, the question and answer session was dynamic, the audience was keen to learn! Here are just a few of the questions:

  • “How do astronomers measure the light coming from an astronomical source?”
  • “Where will the cameras be deployed?”
  • “How can a meteorite of 15 meters in size explode with an energy of 30 Hiroshima Atomic bombs? ” (this refers to the Chelyabinsk event that Daniele mentioned in his talk)
  • “Is there something concrete we can do in case of a catastrophic event?” (referring to the 10-km-size asteroid that provoked the K-T extinction also mentioned in the presentation)
  • “What is the purpose of the observing cameras?”
  • “What can we do in case of a foreseen impact with a large asteroid?”

If you would like to find out the answers to these—and other—questions, or if you would like your students to discover the world of asteroids and meteors in your own school, check out our website. Or take things one step further and sign up for the summer school at

Teachers in Italy can find out more here.