Overview of the project (Phase I-2013)

Project title: Starlight in the university: “Astrolab”
Project leader: Prof. Jean-Pierre de Grève

The project aims at fully developing and implementing a research tutorial, Astrolab, in universities in need of astronomy infrastructure and curriculum, allowing undergraduate students in sciences to perform real-time observations on a remote telescope, and transforming those observations in to a scientific result. The goal of this project is twofold:

a) to introduce students to the scientific research method in general by working scientifically through project development and preparation, data acquisition and treatment, analysis and conclusions.

b) to enhance interest in science studies by making them more attractive and getting the students involved in the learning process. The level is that of science students at an introductory astronomy course (1st or 2nd B.Sc.), but can be adapted downwards as well as upwards. Astrolab has been successfully implemented at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel for the last 4 years.

This project is a pilot one: it will first be developed in 2 partner universities (Nigeria & Zambia), and after a test period of 3 years it could be implemented in various other universities.