Overview of the project

Project title: Yunnan Minority Regions Astronomical Popularization Footprint Map Plan
Project leader: Mr. Guangpu Yang

Yunnan Province is located in the southwest mountain area of China. It is characterized by the diversity of minorities: 25 minorities (beside the major nationality Han) such as minority Dai, Bai, Hani, Naxi, and so on. Some minorities have their own long history of language and culture development. Most of the regions are, however, quite underdeveloped in economy and science. Many minority regions have high percentage of illiteracy, low enrollment rate, and high dropout rate of school children. The amazing astronomy is an ideal tool to inspire people and their kids in those regions with the beauty of the modern science and to stimulate their interests to education.

The effectiveness of science popularization activities largely depends on its coverage in the population. Thus we propose a large-scale eight-year astronomical outreach strategy to cover all major cities in each prefecture of Yunnan province. With our proposed ‘Astronomy for Development Week’ events in several most populated cities of each prefecture, we will be able to illustrate our outreach coverage on an ‘astronomical outreach footprint map’. We expect that, after the 8 years (2013-2020) of efforts, we will eventually be able to complete this outreach footprint map (high coverage of population) and to arouse widespread public interests in science and education in the whole Yunnan province. We also will try to update our outreach activity contents and improve effectiveness assessment methods year by year to enhance the impact to the local people.

Simultaneously, we will execute a parallel procedure within which we will compile the local astronomical culture resources such as minority calendar in or near the cities where we do outreach. Such compilation will not only help us to tailor our outreach activities to fit the interests of the local people, but enable us to share the astronomy related local minority culture with other regions or countries.