The Online Summer School Connects More People Loving Planetary Sciences

  • [2020-08-31]

    From June 29th to August 12th, the second Summer School in Planetary Sciences was successfully held by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Center for Excellence in Comparative Planetology and University of Science and Technology of China (USTC). Though the COVID-19 brought a lot of troubles preventing people from uniting together, the online classes, conducted on Zoom, built a bridge connecting experts and scholars around the world.

    In this summer school, 19 famous experts and scholars, representing the peak in the field of planetary sciences, from the United States, France, Australia, Japan, Germany, Sweden, Italy, and China, were invited to give lessons. Meanwhile, nearly 1000 registered students were from multiple universities or institutes at home and abroad, including the University of Chicago, University of Oxford and the University of Hong Kong. Also, people who hadn’t registered at the school but are interested in planetary sciences could get access to watch the course videos online. According to the webcast statistics from Bilibili, the highest number of single online learning reached 10 thousand person-times.


    Different from last year, a novel teaching model was adopted that English lessons were delivered on Mondays and Wednesdays, while Chinese lessons were given on Saturdays so that Chinese students could know it better that the research progress and the latest achievement in China.

    As for the courses, presentations about hot topics and forward-looking issues, such as the origin and evolution of planet life, how the universe evolving, planetary geology, geophysics, and some issues about atmospheric and space sciences, the ocean and habitability of the satellite system of giant planets, the magnetic field and energy in interstellar space, planetary exploration, etc., were delivered, attractive and meaningful for the audience. After each presentation, half to an hour was preserved for free discussion, during which students actively asked questions and had in-depth and extensive communications with experts. Besides, all the lessons, approved by the experts, were recorded and posted online for subsequent learning and revision.

    About after class, the WeChat and QQ learning group, in which members can make a daily clock in and share valuable information, were created for further communication and discussion. Indeed, this online summer school provided a great platformfor access both basic knowledge and frontier researches in the broad aspect of planetary sciences, which as an interdisciplinary subject was fully displayed to everybody. The joiners surely obtained a lot, more than a memorable study experience.

    (Written by HU Xiaowen, edited by JIANG Pengcen, USTC News Center)

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This article came from News Center of USTC.