Through the support of OAD and AWB (Astronomers Without Borders), UNAWE-Tanzania and Telescopes to Tanzania carried out this project in collaboration with Organization for Science Education and Observatory (Center for Science) in Arusha region of northern Tanzania. The astronomy project was successfully introduced in Tanzanian schools as a tool to inspire teaching and understanding of science.
A total of 14 secondary school teachers and one primary school teacher from 11 schools within Arusha region were trained on how to use astronomy to teach science subjects in interactive ways. The teachers were then known as astro-science ambassadors and tasked to conduct astro-science outreach education to other schools, teachers and students.
As a way of involving stakeholders’, an inception workshop for the project was conducted, among those invited were, government education officers, higher learning institutions, head of schools and other education stakeholders. The event facilitated interaction with stakeholders and resulted to an Open day project showcase at Arusha University. The project members were also invited for a presentation at AIMS-Tanzania institute.
A group of participants and facilitators of the project participated in an inception workshop on 6th February, 2015 in Arusha
To ensure the continuity of project activities, the Center for Science in Arusha, was equipped with the necessary office and education resources accessible to all schools which are registered as organization members. Some of the resources provided included; all in one (printer, photocopier and scanner) capable of printing A3 papers, four laptop computers, four internet modems, telescopes, and books. All Astro-science ambassadors and the schools involved in the project shall continue to have access to these resources for relevant education activities.
Some of the challenges encountered during project include; difficulties while getting to some schools during rainy season, absence of power to some of the schools, power shutdowns and conflicting schedule between schools and astro-science ambassadors. The project, however, managed to achieve its key objectives by visiting 24 schools, training 48 teachers and reaching 1000 students.
The greatest and most important achievement was to organize the team and seeing the project being owned by astro-science ambassadors and also seeing them adopt new ways of teaching and learning science in Tanzania.
Government education officers praised the project for coming forward with a practical way to induce a paradigm shift from the previous content based education curriculum to context based education curriculum that is currently being promoted by the government of Tanzania. Meru district education office also appreciated the project impacts towards achieving government goals of training teachers on the use of hands on teaching methods in the classrooms .The project also inspired AIMS-Tanzania to implement similar activities to one of its recently opened campus in Bagamoyo, Tanzania.