Science and Islam

National Curriculum Science Area: History

Key Stages: KS3 and KS4

Length of session: 1–2 hours

Maximum group size: 25–50 students

The Museum has a remarkable collection of early Islamic instruments relating to astronomy and mathematical measurement. In this session, students explore the scientific achievements of early Islamic cultures. It focuses on the astrolabe, a remarkable early astronomical instrument used for observation and calculation of the positions of the stars. Students will have the opportunity to interpret a range of different objects, and are introduced to the achievements of early Muslim astronomers.

Students explore ideas about the Universe from Ptolemy to Copernicus. They also make a working model astrolabe and discover how to use it to calculate the time and positions of the stars.

For more information about the Museum’s collection of Islamic instruments and associated teaching resources, see our Science and Islam resources.