Overview: Astrolab Distant Training

To get students involved in science studies, lab activities are a necessity, but often scarce funding limits the capacity to implement it. In that context the enquiry-based lab Astrolab was developed. It is based on the analysis of astronomical images obtained with remote telescopes to introduce students to the scientific research method by working through project development and preparation, data acquisition and treatment, analysis and conclusions. However, the sustainability of Astrolab depends on the availability, interest and involvement of the Tutors.In many Universities teaching conditions are not always smooth due to economic or other difficult circumstances leading sometimes to closed universities for some time, or teaching overloads of staff. These circumstances result often in less time for working with Astrolab. This proposal aims at a solution to this problem.The objectives of this proposal are:a. To keep Tutors, who showed interest in Astrolab in the past (by attending a training, or different positive reactions) further actively involved and committed, or reactivate them.b. To offer students of South Africa HDUs (Historically Disadvantaged Universities) a local or distant training to learn research skills, including reporting and communicating.c. To set up a last Workshop at Bulawayo (Zimbabwe) to reinforce the implementation of Astrolab.To fulfill point a) we plan to organize Astrolab refreshing courses at distance, in video-conference mode. Most of it will be a one-to-one training, using the Astrolab web-platform created in 2019 (http://astrolab.saao.ac.za) but also by adding extra activities.For the point b) we plan to set up a one-week session, in an HDU (Fort Hare University), under the guidance of a trained Tutor to provide a start-up of the Astrolab tutorial for the students with the local Tutor, some students and Tutor from other HDUs will be invited to join.For the point c) a trained Tutor will travel to Zimbabwe.

Contact: Michele Gerbaldi gerbaldi@iap.fr