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TagsProject TitleLocationSummaryURL
reducing inequalities, school-levelAd Astra Academy 2020BrazilAd Astra is a unique project that brings the excitement of exploration to students in poor regions of the world. We exploit curiosity, an essential human trait, to promote inquiry-based learning and unlock their potential. 20 kids from Rio de Janeiro's City of God favela will be selected and, through a hands-on curriculum, develop reasoning skills and learn about Astronomy. Ultimately, through an arrangement established for AAA, students join the frontiers of exploration, selecting targets on Mars for imaging by NASA’s HiRISE mission. Exposing the surface in high resolution, students contribute to cutting-edge science and gain a demonstration of their potential. An after-school program will be offered, and students will be paired with local professionals for internships. With empirical skills and empowerment, graduates will embark on a lifelong journey that will boost their economic prospects and promote social mobility through education.

The implementation consists of an international and a local team. In the international crew we have mostly Americans, except for Lyra, who is Brazilian. The local team is composed of astronomers and educators in Rio de Janeiro, from several institutions. The program is done at the Instituto Presbiteriano Álvaro Reis (INPAR), a 100 years-old institution, originally an orphanage, that today coordinates extra-curricular activities for the youth of the City of God.



The pilot program was done in partnership with the Museum of Astronomy; last year with OAD funding we expanded our contacts to the City Planetarium, the Museum of Life, and we started a promising partnership with the Museum of the Republic, one of the major museums in Brazil. These partnerships will increase our reach and our prospects for sustainability.



Funds from OAD are been used to support an internship for a student from the 2018 edition at the Museum of Life, and to pay 30% of the college tuition of a student from the 2015 edition, majoring in biomedicine.
http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/adastra2020/
capacity building, indigenous populationsAstronomy for Canadians Indigenous People 2020CanadaIt's been more than 150 years and until today, Indigenous people in Canada continue to endure hard conditions (higher rates of unemployment, poor education, bad housing, and poor job prospects). One of the key issues is the lower levels of education and the higher dropout rate in high school and university.

The 2019 ACIP pilot project was a great success. The Indigenous youth who participated were excited by the presentations and experiences prepared by the CFHT resident astronomer Dr. Rousseau-Nepton (the first indigenous woman in Québec to obtain a PhD in astrophysics). The visit to the Popular Astronomy Festival of Mont-Mégantic was like a dream for the youth. Presentations, animations and observation with small telescopes and through the eyepiece of the 1.6m Mont-Megantic telescope was fantastic. A few students clearly manifested their interest to become an astronomer or an astronaut (there were presentations on the Apollo missions).

Based on the success of our Pilot Project in 2019, we propose to follow the same society-society approach to improve the situation of Indigenous people in Canada by using Astronomy as a tool for the development of Indigenous youth. This novel non-governmental approach could have animpact in reducing inequality in the society.

For this Project, we willtarget three Indian reserves in the Province of Québec near the city of Montréal. This geography leverages proximity to the Mont-Mégantic Observatory, one of the premier research telescopes in Canada. Our participants will be young students (8-14 years old). Our project has three components: (i) visiting schools in the Indian reserves to reach young Indigenous students; (ii) visiting the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium in Montreal; and (iii) bringing a group of students to visit the Observatory of Mont-Mégantic during the Popular Astronomy Festival of Mont-Mégantic. We will use Astronomy as a social development tool to help improve the situation of Indigenous people in Indian reserves
http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/acip2020/
gender equality, school-levelAstro Molo Mhlaba 2020South AfricaAMM (www.astromolomhlaba.org) targets the issues of inclusivity in SA science by engaging its most underrepresented group - black girls from underserved communities - in astronomy programmes at various stages of education. These are used as a tool to inspire girls to be passionate about science, motivate them to pursue a career in STEM, and provide them with the tools required to turn their ambitions into reality. Through its regular, long-term structure, AMM provides girls with the continuous support required to achieve their potential, which schools in their communities seldom have the resources to provide. We offer:

Astro Club: weekly, after-school programme providing astronomy-based activities to local primary school girls (school names Q19).

Astro Academy: weekly, after-school lessons aimed at both grade 11/12 (G11/12) female students (schools names Q19) from local high schools and four recently-matriculated young women. The latter are trained to run the Astro Club as Facilitators (ACFs). All participants are taught and mentored by female astronomers, and provided with STEM-career advice and support.

G11/12 and ACFs are provided with maths & science tutoring by a professional tutor, to ensure they meet the grades needed to apply to university and financial aid schemes;

ACFs receive a bursary for their work, to ensure they have source of income while learning about astronomy and considering the pursuit of a STEM degree;

We have a 100% retention rate, and have expanded to include a Philippi school following large requests from students in the area.

The requested funds will cover the costs of continuing our programme in the schools currently enrolled. The University of the Western Cape covers our printing and some of the material costs. We have raised EUR827 in donations in 2 months. An increase in the number of participating schools will be contingent on the recruitment of more volunteers, to ensure the quality targets for our programmes are met (Q15).
http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/astro-molo-mhlaba-2020/
teacher trainingCOSMOamautas: Training Teachers in rural areas in PeruPeruThe quality of education in Peruvian schools is the second lowest in the Latin-american region and well below the standards in developed countries, as shown by the most recent PISA evaluation. This situation is especially critical for girls in rural areas, reflecting the acute problem of gender inequality and the centralisation of teacher training to the capital and large cities. This project aims to conduct the COSMOamautas program (amauta=teacher/knowledgeable in the indigenous language Quechua), to bring teacher training workshops in Astronomy and Space Science to high school teachers in rural areas in Peru.



We have selected rural communities where the only two professional national telescopes have been recently built, yet their presence has made no impact on the science awareness in the area due to the lack of concerted outreach efforts and funding. In this pilot edition of COSMOamautas we will target the Junin region, hosting the IGP-UNI telescope. We will develop an educational handbook in Spanish to introduce the school teachers to different areas of astronomy through hands-on experimental activities to be used in the classroom. Finally, we will motivate the creation of a self-sustaining high school Astronomy Club led by the teachers and hosting motivated students. The club will have the support from the COSMOamautas team researchers remotely.



This workshop additionally includes outreach visits to schools, giving particular emphasis to the role of women in astronomy and promoting gender-equality. For more effective empowerment of young girls to identify themselves as scientists, the volunteer trainer team is led by young Peruvian female astronomers with successful research careers at international institutions around the globe, supported by local female physics undergraduate volunteers. The multiplicative impact of our project will enrich the science education of >3000 students otherwise unaware of the astronomy activities carried out in their region.
http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/cosmoamautas-training-teachers-in-rural-areas-in-peru/
capacity building, university-levelEast Africa School of AstronomyEast African CountriesAstronomy showed significant development in East African region in terms of human capacity building, infrastructural development, education, research and trainings. Establishment and opening ups of Astronomy and space science departments and institutes, establishment of research groups such as East Africa Astronomical Research network (EAARN) in the region have created an opportunity for students to easily get a chance to pursue undergraduate and postgraduate study in their own and/or neighbouring countries. This has also played a role in gradual incremental of student intakes that are joining the field in the region. As a result in the near future it is expected that there will be a large number of professionals working in astronomy and astronomy related data science fields.

However, being equipped with modern astronomical instruments and human capital by itself could not ensure the region in getting sustainable development from Astronomy. Modern instruments in the region need to be functional and resources should be shared and used efficiently, scientific outputs should be published and should attract scientists around the globe. These require skilled and well trained experts’ in the field and formal training by itself is not sufficient to address this gap.

The main idea of the project is to strengthen the east Africa region astronomical community partnership via science diplomacy anddeliver short-term training that focus on improving skills and competitiveness of early career BSc and MSc graduates and students in astronomy and science related fields with well organized regional platform.

EA-SA training incorporates how to use and practice Astronomical instruments, apply Astronomical software’s, big data analysis and science communication skills that can be applied to multi sector fields at governmental and industry level that fits to the modern technology and global market demand.

The school will be organized and coordinated by East Africa ROAD in partnersh
http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/east-africa-school-of-astronomy/
teacher trainingHands-on Astronomy Curriculum Training for Primary and Secondary School TeachersNigeriaHOACTS is a sustainable local socio-economic development workshop through Astronomy which is designed to promote astronomy appreciation among primary/secondary school science teacherswith physics and Engineering education students. It will promote Astronomy awareness using the CBSS 15cm David Levy comet Hunter Optical telescope with deep sky imaging camera and the 15cm Lunt Solar Telescope with relevant observing filters and software. It will also promote indigenous design and fabrication of small locally made optical telescopes using the CBSS 3-D Printer. In 2015, through the effort of the Centre for Basic Space Science Nsukka, in Nigeria, Astronomy has recently been accredited in the primary and Secondary School Teaching Curriculum. Through the past HBSST, Astronomy is fast spreading and accepted in all government and private secondary/primary across the country. This would be a unique opportunity to offer specialized training in Astronomy and basic space science teachers in government/private secondary and primary schools in Nigeria. Physics and Engineering students who are studying to become teachers also need to be trained to enable them learn how to implement the curriculum before they graduate. Since Astronomy education at this level is in a developing state. We need a serious awareness and training program across the country to develop these teachers who have already been employed to teach Astronomy at this basic educational level without any experience. It is important to note that most of these primary and secondary school science teachers are not astronomers but are charged to teach these subjects as part of the educational curriculum.This teacher hands-on training will aim at upgrading the skills, teaching tools and aids of these teachers, equipping them with innovative and simple method of teaching and learning. The 6-day practical workshop will hold in two different zones (Northern and Western). HBSST was earlier held in the Eastern and Sourtern parthttp://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/hands-on-astronomy-curriculum-training-for-primary-and-secondary-school-teachers/
inspiration, health, refugee campsIDP Children’s Astronomy Outreach 2020NigeriaThe increase in internally displaced persons (IDP’s)to 1.7million people in Nigeria breeds grounds for inequality, illiteracy, peace & security problems and other developmental challenges for the future of the IDP children. This project aims to teach the children to embrace peace and togetherness by bringing in seasoned counsellorsand professionals to be a part of the project. Astronomy would be used as a tool to educate and solar powered learning hubs would be installed in their camp. We will be targetting IDP camp in Garki area of Abuja.

Africa has 80% of the world's internally displaced persons. According to UNHCR, in the past 3 years, the number of internally displaced persons in Nigeria has tripled reaching 1.7 million persons, mostly women and children.

Astronomy is to be used tool to counsel, heal and inspire traumatized children that have been displaced due to ethno-religious conflicts in Nigeria. The plan is to have an Astronomer’s outreach to cater for 500 IDP (Internally displaced persons) children. Project activities will include coupling a Galileoscope, Tinkering with microcontrollers/DC motors, Educative documentaries, Star gazing with Telescopes & several others.

Most of the children in the camps have been in school prior to being displaced from their villages. In the camps, non governmental organizations volunteer their time to educate the children on periodical and informal basis. This project has identified astronomy as a tool because it is one of the oldest natural sciences and for the fact that the children are used to being taught in an informal setting, understanding the universe can be passed across suitably to the children.Astronomy would prove more effective than other subjects that are based on a structured curricula. It is common knowledge that amateurs play an active role in astronomy.
http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/idp-childrens-astronomy-outreach-2020/
capacity building, university-levelKathmandu Astrophysics School 2020NepalKAS20 will be a 2-week astrophysics school on ‘Introduction to Astronomical Data Analysis ‘, targeting 25 advanced undergraduate students from Nepal (~80%) and abroad (~20%). The first week of the school will cover programming basics in ‘An Introduction to Python’ in order to ensure students develop the necessary skills to tackle the subject matter in the second week. The overall theme flows seamlessly from ‘Computational Techniques’ and ‘Order of Magnitude’, the themes from KAS16 and KAS18, respectively. Academic lectures are complemented by supervised hands-on group projects for optimal active learning, and by science education/professional skill development seminars. KAS20 builds upon two previous editionsin 2016 at Tribhuvan University (KAS2016) and in 2018 at Narayan Campus in Pokhara (KAS18), which resulted in long-term impact, as measured for example through subsequent enrolment of alumni inpostgraduate degrees in Europe and their participation to summer schools abroad. KAS20 will continue to mentor and upskill a new generation of undergraduate Nepali students in both professional and academic areas through engagement with a highly-qualified international faculty. Special focus is given to diversity and gender equity, reflected in the SOC/faculty composition, with active efforts to solicit qualified female applicants. Lodging and meals are provided to all students to maximize equality, collegiality and networking. KAS20 is the third in a long-term series of for a profound, positive impact on the Nepali educational system and society, and will cement the growing professional collaboration between international lecturers and local Nepali academics.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/kathmandu-astrophysics-school-2020/
education, outreach, awarenessLAMPS: Leveraging local AstronoMy site to Promote STEMMadagascarThe fields of STEM have long been recognized as key factors for socio-economic development. Although emphasized in the UN Sustainable Development Goals, acknowledging STEM as source of development remains a challenge for Madagascar. From a very young age, many struggle to see the direct relevance of STEM in daily lives and assume it as a dead end career path. LAMPS seeks to address such misconception at grassroot levels by leveraging the existence of the future radio astronomy African VLBI Network (AVN) site in Arivonimamo, a large rural town of around 30,000 population. Through Astronomy and STEM-oriented activities, we aim to promote STEM education; demonstrate the relevance of STEM for local socio-economic development; inform learners on the importance of Astronomy and STEM fields in daily life; and encourage them to pursue STEM-oriented studies/careers.



LAMPS is a two-stage outreach led by Ikala STEM, an association of women in STEM from Madagascar. First, volunteers will showcase the relevance of STEM subjects through Astronomy and science-based activities at the target schools. Two days later, a fair baptised STEM Kerimesy (a word for traditional highly attended festivals) consisting of interschool quiz competitions, inspiring women in STEM stories and hands-on activities (e.g. cardboard planisphere, light diffraction) will be held by astronomy and STEM-oriented associations.



Primary targets are learners from Grade 1 through high school. However, the event will be open freely to the general public to stimulate local STEM innovation. To ensure a maximum attendance, LAMPS will be advertised well in advance through local radio and banners/posters at the target community.



A project chart will be kept to track the milestones we expect to reach. LAMPS is already being endorsed by the local authority and four heads of school. We also have received the confirmation of three Malagasy STEM-based associations that are happy to collaborate with Ikala STEM.
http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/lamps-leveraging-local-astronomy-site-to-promote-stem-in-madagascar/
capacity building, university-levelNetworking and Skilling in astronomy in SenegalSenegalIt appears important to us to mention the interest of Senegalese institutions (University, government) for space sciences at various levels. This guarantees a long-term impact of our efforts, integrated into the nation-vision, with regular exchanges with the Ministry of Research, Higher Education and Innovation (MESRI), and leaders at the university. For this purpose multiple projects are elaborated and meetings have been organized. Since 2018, meetings bringing together local actors, academics and theMESRI have been held to refine the development strategy for teaching Earth and Spatial Sciences at university and for the development of research activities in this area.

For instance, the MESRI is building an astronomical observatory, and is establishing new partnership in this area with world-class centres of excellence. The MESRI and Cheikh Anta Diop University (UCAD) have agreed to collaborate with the University of Toulouse for the Graduate School of Earth and Spatial Science “TESS”), which will favour regular exchanges of students and staff between Senegal and Toulouse. Two agreements were signed between these actors, TESS/MESRI (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1a-EW6912Dz_ATwqI4gH1mQsbIEsS-bnY/view?usp=sharing),

TESS/UCAD (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-Rnz8tifzuxyAxis_YTyi2k6UUB8Tkb3/view?usp=sharing)

Senegal has therefore made an important step toward the development of professional astronomy and the young generation is willing to move forward with the development of astronomy at all levels. Our project will focus on a program that would be integrated in the existing masters or bachelors in Physics and Mathematics. We will involve all key actors (university students, teachers, secondary teachers, and amateur astronomers) in this process.

For this purpose, we will organize a 6-days training session around two themes a) acquiring astronomical data remotely with Astrolab, b) data processing using the python programming language with the library Astropy
http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/networking-and-skilling-in-astronomy-in-senegal/
cultural astronomy, indigenous populationsUnder other skies: dialogues of different cosmological paradigmsBrazilThis proposal focuses on ethno-astronomy, in particular on indigenous astronomy in Brazil. The project will be conducted in Aldeia Verde, a Maxakali Village in Minas Gerais, where the idea was born through the encounter of one of the astronomers and two cacique (leaders) of the community. The project involves the collaboration of indigenous researchers of the village, anthropologists and educators of the Federal University of Minas Gerais, and astronomers and educators of the University of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The main objective is to collect native narratives, chants and myths about the sky that have never been written down and recorded before, creating novel scholastic material for schools inside and outside the village. Initially, we intend to collect and translate Maxakali stories and chants of the sky, narrated by some of the elders, who have collaborated with four of the researchers for a number of years. Subsequently, we will organise a workshop in the Maxakali village, open to the wider community, to observe the sky with a telescope, in order to promote a dialogue between indigenous and western scientific knowledge. The third step is the organisation of a workshop of illustration of the narrated stories, led by 15 indigenous teachers. The main outcome will be a scholastic booklet, comprising the narrated stories and their illustrations. The booklet will also present images of the southern skies. This outcome will increase the quantity and quality of indigenous didactic material, as a right granted by the Federal Law that defends the autonomy of Indigenous Education (Law n.9394/1996). The booklet, containing Portuguese and English translations, will be distributed in all the indigenous schools whose professors attend the course at FIEI, and four public schools. All materials, including the recording of the chants, will be available in a web portal hosted at IAG/USP and OV, making this material accessible to an international audience.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/under-other-skies-dialogues-of-different-cosmological-paradigms/
inspiration, peacePale Blue Dot - a Universe Awareness projectGlobalWe propose laying the groundwork for a large global multi-year project, PBD-UNAWE, that will advance 3 sustainable development goals - SDG 16 (Peace), SDG 4 (Education) and SDG 13 (Climate Action). PBD-UNAWE will use astronomy to inspire young children aged 6 to 8 by exposing them to the iconic photos of our earth as a “pale blue dot” in space.The rationale for PBD-UNAWE is encapsulated in 3 quotations by Carl Sagan:



1. “Fanatical ethnic or national chauvinisms are difficult to maintain when we see our planet as a fragile blue crescent fading to become an inconspicuous point of light against the bastion and citadel of the stars.” (SDG 6 – Peace).



2. “Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. It makes clear our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and appreciate the pale blue dot” (SDG 13 – Climate).



3. “I wanted to be a scientist from my earliest school days. The crystallizing moment came when I first caught on that stars are mighty suns, and how staggeringly far away they must be to appear to us as mere points of light.” (SDG 4 - Education).



To prepare for the global project, we shall carry out a multidisciplinary pilot study in at least 2 countries, in collaboration with developmental psychologists and other relevant academic experts. This will investigate how the content and delivery of PBD-UNAWE can be optimized to have a lasting influence on the perspective, ideas and value systems of as many children as possible.



The PBD-UNAWE pilot study will build on Universe Awareness (www.unawe.org). It will include distribution of PBD photos of our planet, teacher training and suitable active play-material to illustrate the PBD-UNAWE message. During the pilot project, the effectiveness of various PBD-UNAWE delivery modes to stimulate young children’s global perspective and sense of awe will be studied and optimized and ways of funding a subsequent large global project will be explored.
http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/pale-blue-dot-a-universe-awareness-project/
education, outreach, awarenessAstronomy for students through interactive app and gameBangladeshWe are going to make an interactive astronomical app as most of the young generation use smartphone or pc. It will feature all the planets of the Solar system along with the Sun and the Moon as interactive characters. The anthropomorphized characters will have various range of expression. Their genders will be determined by the Greek and Roman mythological God or Goddesses they’re named after. The characters will represent both females and males in an equal (or almost equal) numbers. The characters will be expressive in their emotions. When idle, the characters will express joy, sadness or excitement to prompt the user to interact. User will be able to interact with these characters by tapping on the face of the characters and chatting with them. Both via voice and text like the talking tom app. For example, one can ask Mars about his age, sky color, length of the day, etc. Mars will reply to the questions intelligently like a chatbot. One can ask our beloved earth about the water crisis and light pollution. Then the Earth will reply to them about her difficulties with a broken heart. The expressions will reflect the chat content. The app will also contain a mini-game for kids where they will be asked to rearrange the planets of our solar system in the correct order and will be given scores accordingly.

After making the app, We will reach out to young students from at least 10 schools for our campaign. In those campaigns, there will be some talks about astronomy and climate change. We will directly help them using our app. Evaluate their learning with quizzes. There will be snacks too. We will collect feedback to further improve our app.

Our primary target is to develop the app with English and Bangla language support. We plan to release the character model and other resources with CC‑BY‑SA‑4.0 license and the app’s source code with GPL v2. Contributors around the world will be able to add their language and improve upon our work.
http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/astronomy-for-students-through-interactive-app-and-game/
gender equality, online, mediaShe Speaks ScienceLebanon, UK, globalI am an astrophysicist exploring how stars live and die. Like other STEM fields, astronomy suffers from under-representation of women and minorities and lack of role models to inspire the next generation of astronomers, especially in my home country, Lebanon. My TEDx talk highlights my journey as a scientist and duty as role model, being the first person to receive a PhD in astrophysics from a Lebanese university (link in Q19).

My project core is a platform called Scheherazade Speaks Science http://www.shespeaksscience.com, that uses storytelling to make science accessible and promotes women in STEM. Scheherazade, the storyteller of 1001 Nights who achieves social progress and justice with her captivating tales, is the vessel through which the science is narrated. The 1-year old platform now has 12k+ visits from 78 countries across 6 continents. To inspire and connect, we tell stories infused with social relevance such as reflecting on planet diversity like our own, or planet migration being like human immigration, part of the natural order of the Universe. This is based on research using functional MRI to study mind activity and how it’s activated with stories (ref1-Q19).

Through social media and my professional network, I also invite women in STEM to contribute so they increase their visibility and become role models.

The project mantle is public talks to reach my audience in Lebanon and the UK. Talks are centred around pop-out DIY figures (ex astronaut or Mars Rover) and students will co-create stories around that. This gives students agency triggers their creativity and imagination.

The platform stories are also powerful for a continued engagement as an accessible backup resource after talks. Talks at schools once or twice a year are not enough to keep students engaged. Access to the platform and following it on social media is more effective to engage them and enhance their attitudes toward STEM. Last year I gave ~15 public talks reaching ~2000 people of all ages.
http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/scheherazade-speaks-science/
school-level, educationThe Art of Learning AstronomyPhilippinesThe project will deliver astronomy lectures, games, and do-it-yourself astronomy equipment to young kids. Due to voluminous number of kids who belong below the poverty line, we are aiming to cater about 300 kids for 3batches, in three different places, aged 7-10 years old who are living in the slums of metro manila and will render the outreach at the Multipurpose Hall of each Barangays. This project would like to provide scientific engagement with the kids where we can share our expertise and let them embrace astronomy in their hearts by exposing them to the beauty of the cosmos, and the technologies we used. We will go to their place, teach them elementary concepts in astronomy, teaching astronomy using re-lyric nursery rhymes (English and Filipino), storytelling (in mother tongue), perform coloring skills, and assemble do-it-yourself astronomical equipment. The project will run for 9 weeks (once a week visit, three weeks per batch). Through this outreach, we can pose astronomy as a form of silver lining in their challenging daily lived-experiences, and entice them, at this early age, they are exposed to the field of science and technology, specially astronomy.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/the-art-of-learning-astronomy/
education, outreach, awarenessTelescopes For Siberian VillagesRussiaBy this project IP and IRAS will make the school subject of astronomy more practical, find and inspire the amateur astronomers and give the people a chance to look at the night sky. All these serve the socio-economic development of the remote territories and give the talented pupil a chance to access the education.

A great number of clear sky days on Baikal region make good preconditions for the observations. On the other hand, schools in Russia are not equipped with telescopes and teachers do not use it in classes. We have found the teachers and amateur astronomers, who are willing to be trained and will perform the astronomy observations on the regularly basis.

In the first stage, we’ll distribute 20 telescopes to 20 remote villages. The recipients will be picked on the basis of evaluation and with the help of the Regional Ministry of Education.Each recipient will sign an agreement on telescope usage. Through personal visits and via Internet, IP and IRAS will provide them with the training courses, assistance programs and specially developed printed materials calendars, games, etc. Not efficiently used telescopes can be relocated.

TFSV project will continue after this first stage (we are asking funds for). The second stage includes the seminars and festivals throughout the region. The crucial success factor is the development and implementation of effective system of usage of the telescopes. The observational desks and even astronomical observatories for the public will be established. The best recipients will start amateur astronomers' clubs.

The success in TFSV project will result in more TFSV projects in our region and hence will influence the socio-economic development of the remote areas, since the population will get an interesting occupation connected with the science entertainment and education.

Fostering the interest in astronomy will result in developing the curriculum resources that promote the study of astronomy, physics and math and other
http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/telescopes-for-siberian-villages/
inclusion, visually impaired, astrotourismVaudemont - Solar Trail for visually impairedItalyItaly suffers a lack of policy/infrastructure for impaired people, often marginalised, thus increasing the gap with non-impaired people who also miss an enrichment which is only possible through true interaction with people each other.

Astronomy shows us how small Planet Earth is. For visually impaired, it is difficult to visualize mentally what solar system bodies could be; on the other hand, this is difficult for any human, since such distances are far from the daily life scale.



Program nestles on an existing Project funded by EU Network for Rural Development, a 1:1,000,000,000 scaled “Solar Trail”: 7km=outer Kuiper Belt; 0km=dome of “Felsina” Astronomical Observatory; total 17 stops, each representing relevant celestial body (eg. Eris, Pluto, etc) by a panel with ENG/ITA info and link to a devoted website for further info; path follows some forgotten remnant of ancient Roman road "Piccola Cassia"; boosts Astrotourism in a remote area far from other attractions: “Corriere della Sera” article nationwide edition 2nd July 2019(ITA):

https://www.corriere.it/buone-notizie/19_luglio_07/noi-astrofili-buona-stella-dell-appennino-per-turisti-lenti-9f89b24a-a0c6-11e9-b20c-12356eab285e.shtml?refresh_ce-cp



Both blind & non-blind participants enjoy nice guided walk in wildlife.

Starting from our bodies (1 step=1 billion steps) Program would develop introducing further proprioception/ kinaesthesia techniques to simulate movements of celestial bodies/forces in space/time in a 4D mental map, avoiding usual misconceptions (eg. eclipses every month).

Tools: recovery material (eg: actual scaled body planet Earth=1.2cm metal marble, Jupiter=14cm soft ball, etc), NASA/OAD Astrokits 3D prints (surface details), Minolta zenithal maps.

Techniques developed in collaboration with “Anteros” Tactile Museum’s Staff (semiologists, geographers, experienced blind personnel offering their professional support freely).

Results to be shared and double checked also thru National Board.
http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/vaudemont-solar-trail-for-visually-impaired/
COVID19, education, reducing inequalities, school-levelAIM - All dIgital reMoteBrazilThe AIM project will promote online learning for students in the City of God favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In addition, it will assist teachers in the online delivery of science and math curriculum, create teaching videos, and generate a mentor-mentee relationship with the most promising students.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/aim-all-digital-remote/
COVID19, outreachAmateur astronomers' network as outreach fosters (AANOF)Russia, GermanyThe core project idea is to direct the passion of amateur astronomers and their organizations towards astronomy activities, online and offline. Through online educational platforms, this project raises interest in astronomy classes, e.g. live observations and streaming from different telescopes around the globe, as well as inspire interest in the target audience.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/amateur-astronomers-network-as-outreach-fosters/
COVID19, educationCOVID-19 in Amazonas – Astronomy strikes backBrazilThe central idea is to bring relevant discussions in astronomy to teachers and students in the public education system. The implementation plan consists of videos, "live streams" on social networks and development of manuals for teachers and students. The project is supported by the following Brazilian entities: ABP, FAPEAM, MCTIC, CNPq, UEA, Planetarium Digital of Manaus and Parintins.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/covid-19-in-amazonas-astronomy-strikes-back/
COVID19, education, outreachAsk An Astronomer (Pregúntale A Un Astrónomo)Peru"Ask an Astronomer" is a science education and outreach project carried out weekly on social media where two Peruvian young astronomers discuss open questions and important topics in astronomy and space sciences. The program will not be a lesson or a lecture, but rather an open conversation in an easy-to-understand language, that aims to attract the attention of children and young people at a time when it is a challenge to bring formal qualified education in middle and lower income countries.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/ask-an-astronomer/
COVID19, art and astronomyAstro-Art Contest for Schools KidsNigeriaThis project aims to engage elementary and high school children through an Astro-Art competition. The competition will encourage school children to paint their space imaginations and get a chance to win prizes.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/astro-art-contest-for-schools-kids/
COVID19, art and astronomyAstro-Logos: stories of the history of the Universe (astrATTO)ItalyThe project will record five short stories by world-renowned writer Italo Calvino, taken from the book ‘Cosmicomics’, inspired by astronomical facts, and commented on by several astronomers. The poetic and imaginative description of complex astrophysical concepts in the book provides a powerful cue to introduce various fascinating aspects of astronomy through literature, making the content suitable for a wide audience including children and young adults. The recordings, accompanied by original soundtracks and drawings, will be made publicly available online. The combination of Calvino's wisdom and sobering irony, the sublime relativity of the various astronomical subjects, the professional voice acting by Claudio Casadio, and the creative interpretation of the artists, will help lift the spirit of the target audience, especially in these dire times. Ultimately, the project hopes to remind the listener of the importance of maintaining perspective and faith in human collaboration, both through scientific inquiry, as well as the arts.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/astro-logos-stories-of-the-history-of-the-universe/
COVID19, outreachAstronomy for AllAfghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri LankaThe project will continue our outreach efforts and keep it more engaging through different online webinars, training/workshop, interaction, classes, etc. The target audience is high school as well as university level students and teachers/faculties from SAARC countries. Contacts with teachers/students/schools/clubs/Societies will be established and programs related to astronomy will be held.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/astronomy-for-all/
COVID19, capacity building, university-level, onlineAstronomy from Archival DataIndia, onlineThe project will train students to use the high-quality astronomy data from various facilities. Participants will be shown step-by-step techniques of accessing and analysing astronomy data from the internet, introduced to virtual observatory tools and programmimg techniques, and supported to formulate and develop projects. The training will include special sessions on report writing, publishing and presenting in scientific journals. http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/astronomy-from-archival-data/
COVID19, education, reduced inequalities, school-levelAstronomy in a ShoeboxCanadaThe core purpose of this project is to provide low income families which lack internet access with educational activities in different languages. A 'shoebox' or small, compact box will be provided with several activity sheets, instruction sheets (for adults), and a few basic art and craft supplies related to the activity. These boxes will be distributed at local food banks in the Greater Toronto area in Canada. It will provide families that chance to discover the wonders of space and astronomy, work together as a team and complete these activities. http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/astronomy-in-a-shoebox/
COVID19, media, podcastASTWONOMI LAKAY VODCASTING...HaitiThe project aims to release weekly astronomy presentations (audio, video) aimed at families and enthusiasts while they are confined at home. It's an ongoing project with some episodes already released and the plan is to release an episode each week.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/astwonomi-lakay-vodcasting/
COVID19, education, school-levelCO-DIY 20 MailboxHong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore, MalaysiaSince the outbreak of COVID-19, children have been spending a lot of time online - virtual classes, online homework or even online birthday parties. The project aims to help them reconnect with the physical world by mailing a package containing DIY materials and other astronomical gadgets. A shared platform will be created for all the participants of the project. http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/co-diy-20-mailbox/
COVID19, healthCollecting and visualising healthcare facility data for South Africa (SA) in response to COVID-19South Africa, globalThe project aims to collect and effectively communicate data related to the South African healthcare system and its response to COVID-19. Most of the publicly available information around the pandemic pertains to the number of positive cases recorded, number of tests conducted, recoveries and number of COVID-19-related deaths. Less data is available describing healthcare systems capacities, locations and readiness to cater for the infected people. Having easy access to healthcare facility data is hugely important to identify gaps, risks, and excess resources that can be deployed elsewhere. It also helps the general public to understand the status of the healthcare system. The visualisation dashboard will be freely accessible and source code for the data visualisation platform will also be released under an open source license. http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/collecting-and-visualising-healthcare-facility-data-for-south-africa/
COVID19, art and astronomyContest: Painting the Universe from homeMexico, Latin AmericaThe project aims to use art and astronomy as a way to remove and reduce stress caused by the pandemic as well as motivate children.
http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/contest-painting-the-universe-from-home/
COVID19, capacity building, university-levelCOVID Citizen ScienceNigeriaThe project will train students to conduct citizen science as part of a SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) program.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/covid-citizen-science/
COVID19, refugee camps, healthCOVID-19 Support for Internally Displaced Persons (IDP's)NigeriaThe project plan is to provide hygiene support at a camp for Internally Displaced Persons in Nigeria. The camp has over 2500 inhabitants mostly living in overcrowded rooms and shared facilities, including 500 children. The project team, which previously visited the camp for an OAD project in 2019, will provide hand washing stations as well as create posters in Hausa and English Language about the dangers of COVID-19, precautionary measures and lifestyles changes. Also, they plan to provide hand sanitizers, disinfectants, face masks, other general cleaning supplies and food supplies.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/covid-19-support-for-internally-displaced-persons/
COVID19, education, onlineDevelopment of online astronomy lessons for students in GhanaGhanaThe project will develop online lessons in astronomy and share with students through social media. The lessons would be deployed weekly and questions and feedbacks from users addressed. Lessons will include, a virtual tour of the 32-metre radio telescope at Kutunse, in Accra, hands- on- activities, introductory and intermediate topics in astronomy and techniques like teaching students python programming and applicable software.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/development-of-online-astronomy-lessons-for-students-in-ghana/
COVID19, health, big dataDevelopment on an online platform for Assessment of COVID-19 spread for planning and implementation of timely interventionKenya, Uganda, TanzaniaThe project aims to develop an online platform for mapping COVID-19 hots spots in order to provide a near real-time information that will help plan interventions such as location of quarantine facilities, humanitarian assistance, distribution of resources such as health workers, ambulances, ventilators, personal protection equipment (PPEs). The information so obtained may be used to decide which localities to put under partial or total lock down; put under curfew etc so as to contain the spread of the disease. An algorithm will be developed using similar techniques as in astronomy to image the spread of the disease and eventually provide an easy to use online platform for informed decision making. The online interface will be shared with government agencies before being made public.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/development-on-an-online-platform-for-assessment-of-covid-19-spread/
COVID19, educationDistance Learning for Home-Bound Students Amid COVID-19TanzaniaThe Distance Learning for Home-Bound Students project directly addresses the education barriers in developing countries such as Tanzania where on-line access and computers are very limited. The project enables teachers to continue engaging their students using simple, online facilities appropriate for the bandwidth limited internet and families with no computer. For students without any internet access, printed packages will be prepared for pickup, following safe COVID practices.
http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/distance-learning-for-home-bound-students-amid-covid-19/
COVID19, healthDISTRIBUTION OF PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPES) TO HOUSEHOLDS AROUND THE GHANA RADIO ASTRONOMY OBSERVATORYGhanaThe project intends to reach the community living around the Ghana Radio Astronomy Observatory and distribute face masks, hand sanitizers and other PPEs as well as discuss astronomy as appropriate.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/distribution-of-ppe-to-households-around-ghana-radio-astronomy-observatory/
COVID19, educationDIY Universe: A Virtual Science Program for Summer EngagementUnited States, globalThe Christa McAuliffe Center for Integrated Science Learning will support the implementation of a virtual summer program (using a web-based program- DIY Universe) with youth from partner Out-of-School Time (OST) organizations serving economically-disadvantaged youth and youth under-represented in STEM. OST organizations play a vital role by providing youth with ways of discovering and exploring the world of STEM that complement the learning they experience during the school day. They often provide youth with access to enriching summer programming that can enhance their educational experience, address achievement gaps, and prevent learning loss.
The program would be offered for free to students and the grant would be used to offset staff costs for the program.
http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/diy-universe-a-virtual-science-program-for-summer-engagement/
COVID19, refugee camps, educatione-Amanar: Under the same sky connectionAlgeriae-Amanar will provide follow-up capacity building for teachers involved in the 2019 Amanar project at the Sahrawi Refugee camps by 1) organizing a pilot online training program and 2) providing science educational materials. As a response to challenges imposed by COVID, the project will strengthen support to teachers by remote skill development and self-empowerment activities. Scarcity of computers and lack of reliable internet connectivity is a reality at the camps, so the program will be carried out via Whatsapp, which is efficient to low internet connection and teachers can use it easier through their mobile phones. The program content will be co-created with the teachers to ensure that the content is relevant.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/e-amanar-under-the-same-sky-connection/
COVID19, big dataHacking vulnerable people as massive particlesUnited States, globalThe project aims to organize an epidemiologists-astronomers hackathon to directly help the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically to include appropriate population characteristics in epidemiological models, so that the model does not only take into account the disease characteristics, but also the local and specific medical and behavioral characteristic of the population. http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/hacking-vulnerable-people-as-massive-particles/
COVID19, education, reducing inequalities, school-levelInspiring STEM learning through astronomy in rural Ñuble, ChileChileThe project seeks to use astronomy to inspire, encourage and educate students whose studies have been interrupted during the pandemic due to their complex geographic location and limited economic resources.

Material will be developed and delivered to students focused on developing scientific skills where they will learn, explore and experiment, in a guided way, with elements of the environment, using observation, measurement with non-standard units and simple materials. It will lead the students towards autonomous learning focused on astronomical content, using STEM methodology.
http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/inspiring-stem-learning-through-astronomy-in-rural-nuble-chile/
COVID19, indigenous populationsLowell Observatory's Native American Astronomy Outreach Program: Book Club at homeUnited StatesNAAOP pairs astronomers/educators with 4th-8th grade teachers to work together with the goal of getting Native students interested in STEM and STEM careers. The curriculum uses Project Based Learning to help students see themselves as scientists and cultural and local connections to help students see STEM as relevant to them. The program has implemented Book Club in many partnering classrooms in order to get students excited about reading, the key to successful careers and life-long learning. The project grant will be used to continue Book Club, providing each student with the book at hom,e while schools are shut down due to COVID.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/lowell-observatorys-native-american-astronomy-outreach-program-book-club-at-home/
COVID19, education, reducing inequalities, school-levelMaking scientific box for school kids and teachers in remote rural areasMongoliaIn rural and remote areas of Mongolia without internet connectivity, school kids and their teachers can not participate/use online educational materials and experience. The goal of this project is to support them during this time by providing a scientific box of educational sources and instructions on how to became amateur astronomer. School teachers will first receive this box after which they can teach small classses in rural remote areas. Hand sanitizer materials and face masks will be included in the box.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/making-scientific-box-for-school-kids-and-teachers-in-remote-rural-areas/
COVID19, planetariumsNew Planetarium shows in the era of CoronavirusArabic speaking countriesThe project will produce a series of new original planetarium shows in Arabic. These five shows will be in the various fields of science, physics, biology, chemistry, earth sciences and computer science, but connected by astronomy. In addition, educational brochures on astronomy and sciences will be developed and distributed to the public attending the planetarium shows. The content will be gender neutral and in fact motivate girls to pursue science careers by introducing fitting role models whenever possible.
http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/new-planetarium-shows-in-the-era-of-coronavirus/
COVID19, community developmentOAD Injection Moulding Machine - Recycling waste plasticSouth AfricaWaste plastic is a golden opportunity. The project plans to up-cycle plastic to reduce the impact on the enviroment as well as add to livelihood opportunities. The injection molding machine is suitable for a small scale production facility for manufacturing, for example, breathing masks.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/oad-injection-moulding-machine-recycling-waste-plastic/
COVID19, university-level, capacity buildingOnline collaboration and studentship Assistance Amidst Covid-19Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, Mauritius, Madagascar, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Rwanda, USA, Canada, Mexico, Uganda, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, GabonOnline Collaboration and Studentship Assistance Amidst Covid-19 is a focused project to assist Southern African and West African Regional Offices access online resources and learning opportunities that have already been developed by the North American Regional Office. Students will participate in observing and research using a remotely operated telescope, led by educators, professional astronomers. They will learn about the night sky, how to plan a remote observing session, how to operate the telescope via Slack, as well as image calibration and reduction. Internet access will be purchased for students. http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/online-collaboration-and-studentship-assistance-amidst-covid-19/
COVID19, educationOnline Learning Web Application for University and High School StudentsNigeria, West AfricaThe project will build a user friendly and responsive website for university students to learn physics and astronomy. Both video lectures and text (where necessary) will be published on the online learning platform. The platform would also support learning for high schools on topics of maths, physics, chemistry, and biology.
http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/online-learning-web-application-for-university-and-high-school-students/
COVID19, university-level, healthProtect Our Stars (POS)Burkina FasoThe project will support the students and supervisors at the Joseph Ki-Zerbo University to resume their work at the university safely, especially when remote activities are impossible. This will involve making reusable local masks, acquisition of recyclable personal protection equipment and handwash for laboratory activities. Awareness sessions on safety measures will also be conducted.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/protect-our-stars/
COVID19, school-level, healthProviding astronomy inspiration & Hygienic Supplies to underserved families at high risk of infection from Covid-19South AfricaInformal and partially informal settlements in South Africa are incredibly vulnerable to the spread of the Covid-19 virus. One of the communities in Cape Town is Khayelitsha where children are also facing a complete stall in their education due to school closures, as they are unable to access online educational resources from home. This project will provide the families of 110 students with hygienic supplies, while also including educational, astronomy-based material for the children and their families to enjoy while at home in order to keep the students inspired and engaged in learning during the lockdown.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/providing-astronomy-inspiration-hygienic-supplies-to-underserved-families/
COVID19, community developmentReach for the StarsSouth AfricaThe town of Sutherland in South Africa, which hosts the South African Astronomical Observatory, has been severaly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The core of the proposal would be to provide 200 families in the community with food parcels. The Observatory has been very active in these communities with schools, therefor for implementation we would partner with the schools and the saps to ensure the food reach the most vulnerable households in the communities, especially where learners are present as well. http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/reach-for-the-stars/
COVID19, awareness, healthRole of astronomy and space science in fighting COVID-19 and other viruses.Ethiopia, AfricaThis project aims to develop educational material and give more information and visibility about COVID-19 and other viruses and on the important role of science in general, and astronomy and space science (A&SS) in fighting them. It will include development of a manual, reflecting brief questions and clear answers on what we learned about COVID-19 and other viruses, what we still have to learn, and how important was and will be the role of A&SS in knowledge creation and prevention and protection of society from disasters. The information will be adapted to Ethiopian conditions and/or societies living in challenging conditions. The manual will be developed in English and translated to Ethiopian official languages.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/role-of-astronomy-and-space-science-in-fighting-covid-19-and-other-viruses/
COVID19, art and astronomyRooftop diariesGreece, globalThis project seeks to produce an artwork inspired by the problems faced in lockdown and the escape route that astronomy can offer. It will be implemented by a video artist with an interest in astronomy, in cooperation with an amateur astronomer who has a keen interest in art. Rooftops offer an alternative to outside mobility and also a means of escaping from lock down by looking upwards, towards the open sky. A digital rooftop diary composed of video images of the sky and skylines of the city will be created to produce 30 small videoessays. The video essays will be synthesized to produce a complete artwork which will be uploaded digitally for all to access and shared on social media. The aim of the project is to inspire others facing lockdown difficulties by using rooftops as observatories, as a means of escaping from the negative effects of the confinement as well as creating a record, in the form of a digital diary, of an experience that for most of us is unique.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/rooftop-diaries/
COVID19, food securitySAAO Aquaponics FarmSouthern AfricaStaff members at the South African Astronomical Observatory SAAO will be setting up an aquaponics farm for the benefit of SAAO personnel and staff. The aquaponics facility will also be used to showcase aquaponics to visiting schools.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/saao-aquaponics-farm/
COVID19, online, educationSlooh Online Astronomy EducationglobalSlooh has enabled people to explore the universe together through its global network of telescopes. Slooh’s automated observatories develop celestial images in real-time for broadcast to the Internet. The grant will be used to support Slooh's "Home based Astronomy online classes" for students who want to explore space & astronomy during lockdown.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/slooh-online-astronomy-education/
COVID19, healthSolar Powered Foot-activated Hand Washing Water DispensersKenyaTwo astronomy students from Meru University of Science and Technology (MUST) have developed a foot-activated hand washing dispenser with a motorized valve that is solar-powered. The device will improve safety during the COVID-19 crisis and is likely to prompt pupils to wash their hands more often as they marvel at the operation of the device. In addition, this will provoke their curiosity regarding the sun as the source of energy and the working principle of the device. The project team plans to fabricate and distribute the handwashing kits to 4 public schools around Meru University of Science and Technology with the average capacity of 500 pupils each. http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/solar-powered-foot-activated-hand-washing-water-dispensers/
COVID19, teacher trainingTeacher Training on Teaching Science (Physics) and Mathematics using Astronomy and AstrophysicsUgandaThe project will continue the training of teachers initiated by the Network for Astronomy School Education (NASE) training in 2019. The training be conducted online and the teachers will be supported with materials and mobile datahttp://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/teacher-training-on-teaching-science-and-mathematics-using-astronomy-and-astrophysics/
COVID19, university-levelTime and Data for TutorsSouth AfricaUniversities across the world, including in South Africa, are moving to online means for teaching and learning. While the University of the Western Cape has launched a vast campaign to raise funds for laptops and data packages for students, teaching assistants, or tutors, are not priority recipients of the fund raising efforts, nor can they purchase data for teaching. Moreover, they are often working much more than the 5 or 10 hours per week that they are currently paid for, helping the undergraduates understand the material. In these difficult conditions, the staff of the Department of Physics and Astronomy have come together to volunteer their own research or publication funding to be able to support the tutors, but this falls short of what is needed. The project grant will be used to purchase data packages and fund extra time for teaching assistants in the Physics and Astronomy Department. http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/time-and-data-for-tutors/
COVID19, educationTranslating and Distributing ‘Space Scoop’ to Students in Underprivileged Areas of PakistanPakistanThe aim of the project is to translate an astronomy book and adapt it for an audience that reads and comprehends Urdu but has difficulty understanding English. The particular group of people being targeted are 6 -15 year old kids and their teachers in the areas of Pakistan where internet availability is not present and education is at a total halt due to Covid-19 restrictions. Around 1000 copies of Space Scoop translated into Urdu will be delivered to these areas. Posters regarding Covid-19 awareness could be included with the astronomy books.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/translating-and-distributing-space-scoop/
COVID19, outreach, inspirationUnder the Same Stars Communications CampaignglobalThe project aims to help those who are fighting with mental distress to look up at the sky and feel connected to others around the world. Pausing to appreciate the heavens above can not only be the perfect way to calm the mind and relieve stress, but also can bring people together through our shared heritage of the night sky. A two month long program will provide inspiration and a sense of belonging (community) through an education/information campaignhttp://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/under-the-same-stars-communications-campaign/
COVID19, online, educationUnder the Sky of Iran CampaignIran, AfghanistanThe "Under the Sky of Iran" campaign will be launched to promote virtual learning and develop free practical training. The project will be implemented by creating an "Iranian Astronomy Network" to organize online webinars and educational presentations for children, adolescents and young adults. These classes on various topics will be recorded and available online and sent as DVDs for those students who do not have access to internet. We will also hold a series of free tutorials for teachers on how to teach in an online environment.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/under-the-sky-of-iran-campaign/
COVID19, teacher training, onlineVirtual Classroom Under the sky - PBL with AstronomySouth AmericaThis meeting of Virtual classroom under the stars is aimed at preschool, primary and secondary teachers, astronomy fans from South America. The meeting aims to share pedagogical and methodological tools for teaching astronomy, through projects to explore and study the astronomical world and prepare the participants to solve real situations.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/virtual-classroom-under-the-sky-pbl-with-astronomy/
gender equality, school-level2019 Girls Astronomy Camp, NigeriaNigeriaThe project aims to host astronomy camps for girls in 6 different locations in North West and North Central regions of Nigeria, because Northern Nigeria have the country’s worst girl-child education. Figures from the Federal office of Statistics in Nigeria shows that, only about 20% of the total number of literate women in Nigeria are from the North. In fact, about 58% of Northern women are illiterates. It is believed that gender inequality in Northern Nigeria is promoted by religious and communal customs, which has grave consequences for both the individual and the society, making a girl-child dysfunctional member of the society. This innovative astronomy camp, the first of which held in Abuja on April 28th, 2018, would give the children the first taste of space science and technology. Our target is to select 100 girls each from 6 Secondary schools(or less) in three different states in each of these 2 regions, for a camping exercise. The girls will learn about STEM, particularly astronomy and a little bit of mathematics. This is more likely to increase children’s interest in space research and space-based technology. We will run through presentations, hands on activities and exercises between 12:00 and 20:00. Parents would have the options of either waiting through the program or dropping the kids and returning later for a pick up. Speakers from various fields in STEM and especially Astronomy would be present to give talks on interesting topics. https://youtu.be/tsMG7CKlBbhttp://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/2019-girls-astronomy-camp-nigeria/
inspiration, teacher training, refugee campsAmanar: Under the Same SkyAlgeria, Canary Islands (Spain)Amanar [2] is a project organised by GalileoMobile [3], in collaboration with the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) and the Canary Association of Friendship with the Sahrawi People (ACAPS), to inspire children and teachers from the Sahrawi refugee camps near Tindouf, Algeria, and the Canary Islands, Spain, using Astronomy. Our aim is to promote quality science education and support the youth and the teachers from the refugee camps, enhancing both their resilience and engagement in the community through skill development and self-empowerment activities. Additionally, we want to foster sustainable development and a sense of global citizen through Astronomy for the Sahrawi community, that has been in refugee situation for more than 40 years. The project will comprise 2 phases: 1) Astronomy outreach activities and teacher workshops in schools at the Laayoune, Smara, Boujdour, Awserd refugee camps; 2) Astronomy outreach activities and visits to observatories for the refugee children spending the summer in the Canary Islands within the Holidays in Peace program [4]. The IAC will have an active role in the astronomy activities for the summer program, ensuring its continuation for the period 2019 – 2022. Other partners for the project are: Canary Association for Solidarity with the Sahrawi People in Gran Canaria; Universe Awareness; Galileo Teacher Training Program and Meade Instruments. The Sahrawi Ministry of Education has also showed interest in the project.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/amanar-under-the-same-sky/
inclusion, indigenous populationsAmazonas: Celebrating AstronomyBrazil"Amazon: Celebrating Astronomy" is a proposal to include the Amazonas in the celebration of the following dates: 50th anniversary of the arrival of man on the Moon, Centenary of the IAU and Eclipse of Sobral-Prince. Throughout 2019, this proposal will make use of the digital planetariums, telescopes (solar and nocturnal), pedagogical laboratory of Astronomy and observatory located in the dependencies of the University of the State of Amazonas (UEA). The NEPA is composed of 25 women, being 03 indigenous. They are from all UEA undergraduate courses. Will take hands-on workshops, lectures, ludics activities and courses on astronomy to needy schools in the interior of Amazonas: indigenous, riverside and rural schools. We will work with seven islands. Astronomy is the background for motivating women's participation in science, strengthening scientific literacy, promoting socio-ethnic-cultural-geographic inclusion, rebuilding the culture and indigenous language, promoting knowledge empowerment, disseminating the above events and citing the importance of actions encouraged by the IAU/OAD inside the Amazon forest. At the end, we hope that teachers and students will be more aware of the role of each of us as a citizen and of all of us for the maintenance of life and preservation of nature and planet Earth. We are talking about sustainability. We intend to synthesize the above actions in the First Astronomy Workshop in Amazonas and in the I Amazonian School of Astronomy Teaching.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/amazonas-celebrating-astronomy/
capacity buildingAstrolab: the consolidation phaseSouthern Africa, East Africa, West AfricaIn previous years Starlight in the university lab (Astrolab) was developed in Rwanda, Nigeria, and Zambia. Astrolab is an enquiry-based lab for undergraduate students. We organised a workshop in 2018 to give future tutors a thorough training to enable them to direct and monitor students performing their projects. (Reports on OAD/TF1). From the success of this workshop and the request of the participants we propose to establish a managerial African team to enlarge and strengthen this project and to take over the operational aspects of Astrolab. The consortium consists of 2 initial founders (De Greve; Gerbaldi), 2 African universities (TUK, Nairobi, Kenya; University Anambra State, Nigeria), 2 ROAD’s (SAROAD; WAROAD), the SAAO. Objectives are ● Development of an Astrolab website platform for assistance, exchanging best practices and remote training . The website will be developed and hosted by the SAAO, its updating will be done by the two ROAD’s. It will be regularly fed with news and tips (such as for better observations and reductions), with a mail to the users list to call for their attention ● Development of a supervising/monitoring system, exploited by the ROAD’s ● Setting up of regular telecom meetings by the ROAD’s to keep the Astrolab tutorials in different universities going ● On-site visit and training by the African members of the Astrolab consortium for new members of the group ● Exploring the possibility of an agreement with LCO to secure telescope time.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/astrolab-the-consolidation-phase/
capacity building, indigenous populationsAstronomy for Canadian Indigenous PeopleCanadaIt's been more than 150 years and until today, Indigenous people in Canada continue to endure hard conditions (higher rates of unemployment, poor education, bad housing, and poor job prospects) despite government efforts to improve this situation. Several government efforts have tried to solve this problem but the political approach does not seem to be sufficient and all suggested programs had limited success rates. One of these key issues is the lower levels of education and the higher level of dropout. We propose, in this project, to follow a society-society approach to improve the situation of Indigenous people in Canada by using Astronomy as a tool for the development of young Indigenous People. This non-governmental new approach will have an important impact in reducing inequality in the society. Canada has numerous Indian reserves for its Indigenous people. For this Pilot Project, we will target one of the Indian reserves in the Province of Quebec to benefit from its proximity to the Mont-Mégantic Observatory that will be used in this project. Our target is young students (8-14 years old). Our project has two components: (i) Visiting schools in the Indian reserve(s) to reach young Indigenous students and (ii) Bring a group of students to visit the Observatory of Mont-Mégantic during the Popular Astronomy Festival of Mont-Mégantic. Society using Astronomy as a tool of social development can help in improving the situation of Indigenous people in the Indian reserves.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/astronomy-for-canadian-indigenous-people/
school-levelAstronomy to Develop Pre-Algebra SkillsUgandaPre-algebra skills -- ratios, proportions, linear equations -- are the foundation for all higher math and sciences, yet are not well taught in most nations. Such math tends to be a gate-keeper in many nations~ 70% of US adults are, on the average, pre-algebra illiterate ( Eric Gaze, https://search.proquest.com/docview/1696012768?pq-origsite=gscholar). Developing nations have worse pre-algebra scores. Our proposal builds on four previous studies/workshops we or our collaborators have undertaken: 1) We can conclusively improve students understanding and skills in pre-algebra, when we use astronomy as a medium, compared to their learnings in traditional classrooms (see http://new.seceij.net/articletype/research/persistent-and-encouraging-achievement-gains-on-common-core-aligned-items/); 2) We have proven that remotely delivered teacher workshops are as effective as face-to-face workshops as measured by gains in students' understanding on assessment items (see HsingChi A. Wang, Richard T. Houang, William H. Schmidt, Alan Gould, Carl Pennypacker, AERA, 2004); 3) Teachers often don't implement their learnings from workshops if the workshops are under 3 weeks. 4) We can recruit teachers in developing nations, who are eager to learn modern astronomy, the use of technology, and use modern pedagogy. Here we propose a series of workshops amounting to 3 weeks of exposure for teachers in developing nations. The workshops will be a series remote 16 Saturdays.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/astronomy-to-develop-pre-algebra-skills/
school-levelBehold the SkyBrazilBehold the Sky is an ongoing project that consists in the loan of solar PST telescopes and education material (AstroKits) to teachers that are also trained in solar astrophysics topics. The project offers pedagogical advice for the teachers on how to perform empirical science activities with their students. Training for loans is offered monthly. It acts mainly on regions of socio-economic vulnerability, benefiting students aged 6-18. Currently, we have 3 equal AstroKits available for loan (PST, tripod, beamer, 14 Welder's glass, solar charts, handbook of activities, telescope's manual in Portuguese, recharger). The implementation plan is to make available 2 new AstroKits as well as reformulate and include new materials on all kits (DVDs, historic astronomical instruments for education). We also plan to expand and publish the project's handbook to deliver to the school's libraries participating in the project. In addition, we plan two major events in 2019: (1) a global training 2-day workshop for teachers benefiting from the project, inviting researchers experts on astronomy education, when we will also offer hands-on training on new technologies for classroom (Go-Lab and Platon platforms); (2) the use of the 5 AstroKits for the observation of the 2nd of July solar eclipse with the general public, partially visible from Rio de Janeiro. It is justified the request of new AstroKits due to the high demand that our material has: currently, only 1 in 5 schools can borrow the kits.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/behold-the-sky/
school-level, educationClear SkiesIndiaIn spite of our advanced space program, India still suffers from the evils of blind faith and superstition. Rational minds have been attacked and silenced in this country. It is very timely for the scientific community to rise up to the moment and act against this growing trend. To encourage rational thinking in people, it is important to inculcate scientific temper in students and people at an early stage. Using astronomy as a tool is most effective since astronomy incorporates various disciplines in science like mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology. The basic purpose of science is recognition of patterns which were first seen in the skies with the motions of the Sun, Moon and stars, understanding motions, simple physics principles and validation by experiment. We shall explain the physics behind the movement of satellites, planets and stars, spectra of stars, sundials, making of telescopes, etc. We also plan to take students to see the Birla Science Center and Planetarium, the TIFR Balloon Facility, the 1.2 m Japal-Rangapur Telescope, all within the city limits to expose them to the kind of facilities available for science and astronomy. We plan to give lectures, hands-on activities and models, role-play models, using various astronomical events that come, explain their relevance, demystify science and debunk myths. We have named the project Clear Skies since it deals with clearing the minds of people, encourage rational thinking and also provide career guidance.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/clear-skies/
school-level, educationDevelopment through Astronomy in PakistanPakistanThe goals of DAP are to provide quality STEM education, reduce gender inequality, raise awareness about the environmental crises, and promote peace and equality in Pakistan. This will be achieved by developing and delivering curriculum for intensive Astronomy based workshops in 20 madrassas, private and public schools and by conducting outreach at schools and in public places for underrepresented communities. The curriculum will be designed by our team in line with existing science textbooks and will include Astronomy topics such as the stellar life cycle, concepts of planetary science, and the habitability requirements for space colonization in order to demonstrate scarcity of resources on Earth and processes involved in climate change.The work of local historic and contemporary astronomers such as ancient Lahore's astrolabe craftsmen and Dr. Nergis Mavalvala will be honored in the workshops. Solar and night-time observations will be held with the help of student volunteers who have attended our workshops in order to reinforce the workshops’ teachings and inculcate leadership skills. An end of year online DAP essay and poster competition will be organised to bring together participating schools and those that may be interested in DAP activities in the future. The schools that become part of DAP’s network will receive support in the form of teacher training and outreach material. The project will maintain an active social media presence and website to maximize outreach.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/development-through-astronomy-in-pakistan/
capacity buildingFourth ArAS School for AstrophysicsEgypt, Algeria, Morocco, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, UAE, Jordan, PalestineThe ArAS School for Astrophysics (ArAS SfA) is an initiative of the Arab Astronomical Society (ArAS). Its objective is to give students the opportunity to be trained by professional astronomers to make up the shortage of expertise in the field. Using funds from IAU-OAD, we were able to provide full financial support to 12-15 brilliant students with financial need from different Arab countries (1-2 students/country). The full reports of FAWSA and AWSA-II and their impacts are available at http://awsa.ar-as.org/reports/ We propose to organize ArAS-SfA4, a unique event in the Arab World where students will get the opportunity to meet and learn from astrophysics professors and researchers. They will not only learn about different topics and tools in astronomy but also give them the opportunity to learn about current research projects. We'll introduce students to virtual observatories and archival databases, which will help foster international collaboration. ArAS SfA will actively help build regional and international research collaborations between students and researchers and ultimately motivate students to consider professional careers in the field. Our successful experience in FAWSA and AWSA-II in Morocco and expected success in SfA-3 in Lebanon will help us to organize ArAS-SfA4. ArAS SfA will end up in a sustainable program and will extend to a lifetime career of the participants.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/fourth-aras-school-for-astrophysics/
inspiration, health, refugee campsIDP Children Astronomer’s OutreachNigeriaThis project aims to use Astronomy as a tool to counsel, heal and educate traumatised children from conflicts related to farmers-herdsmen clashes in Kaduna State, Nigeria. According to UNICEF and National Bureau for Statistics, about 10.5 million children are out of school in Nigeria & over 60% of these children are in Northern Nigeria, where Kaduna State is located. https://www.unicef.org/nigeria/education.html .In the midst of fragile numbers of children in school, conflicts between local farmers and cattle herdsmen in the region have made these numbers plunge deeper by virtue of the fact that over 30,000 people have been displaced from their towns. The Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency acknowledges that displaced persons are camped in IDP camps in Tudun Wada, Anguwan Rimi, Nassarawa and Unguwar Muazu areas in Kaduna State. This situation has the potential to cause greater problems of inequality, poverty and reduced opportunities for children caught up in this conflict. The plan is to have an Astronomer’s outreach to cater for 500 IDP (Internally displaced persons) children & to provide a solar powered Astronomer’s learning hubs. The main aim of the astronomer’s outreach is to create awareness of astronomy with chilldren that have been displaced due to internal conflict. Project activities will include coupling a Galileoscope, Tinkering with microcontrollers/DC motors, Educative documentaries, Star gazing with Telescopes & several others.(Continued in 19.)http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/idp-children-astronomers-outreach/
inclusion, tactile resources, visually impairedINDONESIA-MALAYSIA PROJECT ON ASTRONOMY EDUCATION USING TACTILE IMAGEMalaysia, IndonesiaImpact Dome is a mobile planetarium for Visual Impaired (VI). It is miniatured sphere in geodesic style consist of number of triangular and hexagonal segments joined together. Printed with tactile constellation for each side. Side for northern sky and southern sky. Triangles can be placed in any segment of the dome represent changes of constellation location due to time and latitude Objective : 1. To develop resources for visual impair person in our countries to learn about the Universe.. 2. To collaborate and exchange universe theme project between Malaysia & Indonesia. 3. To collaborate write a book by VI students from both country about sky form Visual impaired perspectives. Project : Develop mobile geodesic dome with tectile images. 1. Plug and play mobile dome in geodesic style. 2. triangle and hexagon printed with tactile constellation in both sides. 3. Triangle can be place in any segment 4. Every piece can be dissembled and be used as a teaching tools for more people to learn. Workshop and collaboration 1. Produce a module to be used in teaching using geodesics dome 2. Teach selected VI students in about stars and constellation 3. Run a video call among students with both country for sharing and collaboration 4. Malaysia and Indonesia students collaborate in writing a book of their perspective about sky and cultural relationship between two countries. End Result : 1. Mobile geodesic planetarium for Visual Impaired 2. Book published consist of shttp://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/indonesia-malaysia-project-on-astronomy-education-using-tactile-image/
otherIndustry skills from astronomy for emerging economiesSouth Africa, globalIn countries where funding for academic disciplines is not as abundant as in the developed world, astronomy funding is often justified by the argument that it is an inspirational discipline that attracts students to science, and that the skills acquired by astronomy graduates add value beyond the field of astronomy, beyond academia and contribute to a country's journey to a knowledge-based economy. This projects proposes to use the help of a student/intern to investigate this assertion and generate a report of findings with recommendations to improve the employability of graduates. The student will interview employers in industry about their experience hiring science graduates, university lecturers about their programmes and astronomy graduates about their early career experiences. The student will also analyse job listing featuring skills that astronomy studies develop, in the context of other skills those jobs require, to start developing a picture of employers' expectations from people with such skills. This study will be specifically carried out in South Africa, where the value of astronomy as a discipline for the growth of the country is trusted, as shown by the national investment in the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project for example, and where the MeerKAT telescope, its pathfinder, is now in operation and accessible to astronomy students through South-African led science projects.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/industry-skills-from-astronomy-for-emerging-economies/
gender equality, school-levelMolo MhlabaSouth AfricaMM (molomhlaba.org) has a radical new approach to schooling in SA. With local, low-fee, independent schools in underserved communities, MM provides SA’s most vulnerable group - black girls- with access to quality STEM education and career orientation, going beyond standard educational targets to strive for excellence and innovation. MM inspires and equips girls to pursue careers in STEM by crucially focusing on early development and primary education (grades R-7). While the first one has already opened in Khayelitsha, MM will eventually become a network of schools across SA. A key component to its mission is exposure to astronomy, which easily captures the imagination of children, making it the ideal subject through which to encourage them to aspire to and pursue STEM careers. Thanks to many SA projects (eg Square Kilometer Array) astronomy is also a high-profile STEM sector in the country. Through classes (20) and extra activities (also offered at other local schools), astronomy will be used to inspire the female scientists of the future, while enabling learners, parents, and educators see how a career is achievable, addressing racial and gender inequality affecting STEM. Standard curriculums have meanwhile been extended by making use of the following texts: George’s Secret Key to the universe by N. and S. Hawking; Papa please get the moon for my by E. Carle; Ada Twist Scientist by A. Beaty; Mae Among the stars by R. Ahmed; Hidden Figures by M. L. Shetterly and W. Conklinhttp://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/molo-mhlaba/
inclusion, tactile resources, visually impairedReach for the Stars (Planetarium for the Blind)PhilippinesAlthough several efforts are being implemented to support teaching strategies of STEM subjects to visually impaired in the Philippines, there is still a limited astronomy resources for the students as per interview with the Resources for the Blind, Inc. Some of the astronomy resources include tactile solar system with labels engraved on swell paper which cost over 20 dollars each. As of the moment, there is also a limited materials for the visually impaired in the museums and planetariums in the Philippines. This project aims to create an alternative resource material for teaching astronomy among students with visual impairment. This resource material is a tactile planetarium that looks like an umbrella. The half dome simulates the night sky by having the constellations embossed on the underside of the dome. The students will then be able to reach and touch the embossed constellations. The embossed constellations will also have labels in braille so the students will be able to identify the names of the constellations. The half-dome can be adjusted depending on the height of the student. Each 1.5 meter umbrella-planetarium will be composed of different constellations/ star patterns depending on their constellation families. Each umbrella-planetarium will have a removable stand so that it can be transported easily. https://drive.google.com/open?id=1S7Sv9E7gM0FEcrbtCn0nxErFw0Y7NmBHhttp://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/reach-for-the-stars-planetarium-for-the-blind/
art and astronomy, onlineSYSTEM Sounds: Interactive Space MusicCanada, onlineSYSTEM Sounds is a science-art outreach project that converts the rhythm and harmony of the cosmos into music and sound. We wish to expand on the early success of our 2018 OAD funded project by focusing on interactive web applications (“apps”) that let anyone create their own space music. Our TRAPPIST-1 app was played by over 1000 youths as part of a small touchscreen exhibit at the Ontario Science Centre’s TechArt Fair and at Science Rendezvous, Canada’s largest science festival. Our 2nd app which let people strum Saturn’s rings like a harp was featured as the Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD), garnering hundreds of thousands of plays, and our 3rd app was featured by space.com. This has demonstrated the potential for our interactive astronomy sonifications to turn passive viewers into explorers and creators. We seek funding to produce 3 more web apps and display them on large professional touchscreens at high-traffic venues such as the Ontario Science Centre and the Aga Khan Museum. They will also be used to complement planetarium shows for the visually impaired at the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics. One possible app will let people play the different sized craters on the moon, or the different colors of stars as musical notes. The codes will be open source and users will be able to save audio files of their creations and share them through social media. All apps will be fully functional through screen readers and controllable by keyboard commands.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/system-sounds-interactive-space-music/
teacher trainingTeacher training outreach for Astronomy and Science in MongoliaMongoliaIt is necessary to develop advanced research for astronomy in Mongolian universities using modern techniques. We do not have a graduate education and curriculum for astronomy in Mongolian universities. It means the universities can not develop capacity building for astronomy. There is no astronomical education for school teachers. School teachers who graduated from the Universities can not teach astronomy and make astronomical outreach for public and kids. There is a lack of astronomical professors and training opportunities for students in universities and colleges. The educational system of Mongolia has no astronomy textbook in Mongolian. In the libraries one can only find old textbooks from the 1960s and ‘70s. Astronomy education falls even further behind other developing countries. We desperately need more advanced research opportunities and education for school teachers for astronomy in Mongolia. This project aims to develop training for science and astronomy for school teachers in nomads remote areas. Especially in remote areas of Mongolia there is no teachers for science and astronomy. Some of nomads people’s kids never hear about astronomical activities in their region. Most of schools in nomads have no computers. They never have seen astronomical telescopes. This project allow school teachers to learn and improve their knowledge about astronomy and science teaching. The project also make many outreach activities for school teachers and kids and general public in remote (nomads ) areas. International communities such as EA-ROAD/EA-LOAD and Galileo Teacher Training and NAOJ will involve in this project to achieve our goals. International teachers from the different countries will attend in this training to give talks. This project will contribute to development of sceince technology and education in Mongolia. This project will promote lifelong learning opportunities for school teachers and public in Mongolia and neighboring countries. There are no opportunities for school teachers to participate in the training courses for astronomy. This region is natural heritage area and there is dark sky. Nomads and school teachers and children never had astronomical activities such.. as star parties and telescopes. Nomads coomunity will participate in the star parties and inspire beauty of universwe and their heritage region. They also will learn about techno.logy behind astronomical telescopes. About 45-50 school primarey secondory and high school teachers will participate in the training course. Each school select their scheince teachers and will send us list of names. The training will be held in community centers of local provinces.The school teachers will stay in guest houses . We will provide food.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/teacher-training-outreach-for-astronomy-and-science-in-mongolia/
capacity building, university-levelThe 3rd South West and Central Asian Regional WorkshopArmenia, Georgia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, TurkeyThe present project is aimed at organizing a regional workshop “The 3rd South West and Central Asian Regional Workshop” on 16-20 September, 2019, at Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory as well as publishing scientific and popular materials. The subject of the workshop will be the teaching of Astronomy and Astrophysics. The project will help to improve the Astronomy teaching skills of the region. The project will be focused on hands on activities and effective communication skills. The educators, teachers from the South West and Central Asian region are the target group of the project. The Local Organizing Committee of the workshop, consisted of 15 members – mostly young students and volunteers. Work plan of the project • Creation of an official webpage of the workshop • Announcement of the workshop and call for registration, • Distribution of e-mail announcements • Preparation of necessary materials (posters, participants’ kits) and areas • Publication of Abstract Book, information booklet, poster contributions, postcards of astronomical heritage sites of the region, CD/DVDs of contributions, etc., • Revision of applications and selection of participants, • Drafting, publication of the agenda, list of participants, etc., • Welcoming the participants, airport, the hotels, then to the venue of the workshop transfers, • Organization of oral contributions and posters, meals, coffee-breaks, sightseeing tours, and other social events.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/the-3rd-south-west-and-central-asian-regional-workshop/
mentoring, onlineThe Supernova Foundation Mentoring ProgrammeDeveloping countriesThe Supernova Foundation (www.supernovafoundation.org) is a global, virtual mentoring programme aimed at women undergraduate and postgraduate physics students, mostly from developing countries, to try to improve gender equality in physics. We target women in physics departments with few or no woman role models and use mentoring by senior female researchers at other institutes to empower them and give them the support they need to stay in physics. After launching in August 2017, we have 46 mentors from six continents, as well as 92 mentees from developing countries all around the world. We regularly host webinars on topics like imposter syndrome or work life balance and our mentors meet their mentees monthly for private sessions. Our ultimate goal is to expand the programme to all science and engineering fields in both academia and industry. We have increased our numbers five-fold since the programme’s inception. To continue to scale and achieve our vision, we need significant resources and procedures in place. In this project, we will hire a developer to create the automation tools, which must be custom-built for our needs, that we desperately need to cope with the increasing numbers. These tools will include automated collection of feedback from all mentors and mentees, simplified cross-matching for new applicants and improved web design. We will also buy a Zoom (video conferencing platform) licence which is crucial to continuing the virtual mentoring sessions and webinarshttp://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/the-supernova-foundation-mentoring-programme/
teacher trainingUnder the Same Sky: Teaching the Teachers in LiberiaLiberiaWe will provide a 2-week workshop for up to 40 science teachers in Monrovia, Liberia. The educational system, as one of the key drivers for social and economical development, is in a devastating condition after two civil wars and the Ebola crisis. We are going to support the teachers with basic astronomy knowledge and classroom experiments to use astronomy as a gateway to scientific literacy. Our previous experience of offering such workshops in Accra, Ghana (2010, 50 participants) and Monrovia, Liberia (2012/2014, 90 participants) has proven the strong need and appreciations from the teachers (see http://www.2hnet.org and testimonials below). We have founded the "Helping Hands Network", to reach our long term goal: improving education in Liberia. On the short-term, we will provide additional subject-based workshops for teachers and on the mid-term, we will develop a "training the trainers" network in collaboration with the Physics Department of the University of Liberia. Astronomy has the unique narrative that we live together on this one planet in an unimaginably large Universe. Especially in the post-civil war Liberia, we will highlight the unifying and peace-building aspect of astronomy education. We will meet with teachers and school principles in September 2018 to define needs and aims for this workshop. We will also provide classroom material and fabrication instructions for the teachers that they can readily use with their classes.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/under-the-same-sky-teaching-the-teachers-in-liberia/
inclusion, tactile resources, visually impairedA Touch of VenusSouth America, Africa, AsiaThe project ‘A Touch of Venus’ will develop 30 planetary science resource kits which include a 3D tactile model of planet Venus from NASA’s Magellan data and a book of peer-reviewed educational activities. We 3D print the initial model to get an accurate representation of the surface features. After that a silicone mould is produced that allows for the construction of about 30 copies in resin before it degrades. This is more cost efficient than 3D printing the 30 globes. The kit will focus on two main audiences; people with normal vision and people who are visually impaired (BVI), a community otherwise neglected in many instances due to lack of resources in science. The target audience will be mainly children. A prototype of the globe will be developed, printed and field tested by the experts to achieve a high quality educational product, where a participant could touch the Venus surface for an immersive learning experience. A book of planetary science activities will be peer-reviewed by IAU’s astroEDU platform. After a call, the project coordinators will identify 30 hubs around the world with teachers and outreach professionals who will be trained online to carry out workshops locally with both visually impaired and normal vision kids. With the feedback from the 30 hubs, a final resource kit will be available online under the H2020 Programme guidelines on open access where the content will be published under CC-BY giving a wider accessibility.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf2/a-touch-of-venus/
reducing inequalities, school-levelAd Astra AcademyBrazilAd Astra Academy is a unique project that brings the excitement of exploration to students in poor regions of the world. We exploit curiosity, an essential human trait, to promote inquiry-based learning and unlock their potential. 20 kids from Rio de Janeiro's City of God favela will be selected to participate and, through a hands-on curriculum, develop reasoning skills and learn about Astronomy. Ultimately, through an arrangement established for AAA, students join the frontiers of exploration, selecting targets on Mars for imaging by NASA’s HiRISE mission. Exposing the surface in high resolution, students contribute to cutting-edge science and gain a demonstration of their potential. To consolidate gains, an after-school program will be offered, and students will be paired with local professionals for internships. With empirical skills and empowerment, graduates will embark on a lifelong journey that will boost their economic prospects and promote social mobility through education.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf2/ad-astra-academy/
inclusion, tactile resources, visually impairedAstroBVI: An Astronomical Educational Kit for the Blind and Vision Impaired (BVI) Community in South AmericaSouth AmericaWe aim to make astronomy in general, and galaxies in particular, more accessible to children with visual impairments. We plan to create and distribute educational kits composed of tactile 3D maps of galaxies accompanied by a manual and multimedia material. To be accessible to children in most of South America, the instruction manual will be written in Spanish, Portuguese, and English and made available in BVI-accessible formats (braille, large print, and audio). Experts in the field, based in Chile and the UK, will train educators and communicators through local outreach activities and an international online workshop for teachers in South America. We will design manual and eLearning lessons, in collaboration with the Tactile Universe team, the Galileo Teaching Training Program (GTTP) project, and the MaNGA (Mapping Nearby Galaxies at APO) EPO group. The project build upon the foundations by similar past projects funded by the OAD: Astronomy with all Senses and Touch of the Universe.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf2/astrobvi-an-astronomical-educational-kit-for-the-blind-and-vision-impaired-bvi-community-in-south-america/
outreach, awarenessAstronomy FestivalitosColombiaThe ASASAC “Festivalitos de Astronomía” will address the communities in Colombia making public outreach, appropriation (The integration of the scientific culture into the general culture) , dissemination and education of Astronomy and Space Sciences in municipalities with low level of access to educational and cultural programs. Our purpose is to generate an educational, social and cultural impact through Lectures, telescope observations, astronomy workshops, among others, aimed at the general public bringing them closer to science and scientific thinking. Currently these types of activities do not reach small communities because scientific culture unfortunately is not a priority among policy drivers about the social problems that the country is experiencing. “Festivalitos de Astronomía” will reach 10 municipalities of the country in the periphery of Bogota (first phase) with the mentioned activities. This is going to be the starter for the Astronomy clubs in the municipalities, which ASASAC will promote and facilitate after the main activity is over so it last in time. This new astronomy clubs will meet initially once or twice a month, they will share experiences of observation of the night sky, make study groups, and go for observation of the night skyhttp://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf3/astronomy-festivalitos/
inclusion, visually impaired, awarenessAstronomy for all: construction of a 3D planetarium with low cost materials for the inclusion of the visually impairedIrelandThe purpose of this project is to create a 3D tactile planetarium that will promote astronomy and provide an experience of STEM that is fun, engaging and inspires curiosity in an inclusive environment. The resources will focus on using low-cost materials such as Styrofoam, beads, twine, plastic bags and newsprint, which make this project accessible to everyone. In addition, a toolkit on how to make the planetarium components and reference guidelines with exemplars for learning content and teaching training will become available online for other people to use, increasing the impact of the project. The proposed project will develop the following representations: 1. A sensory scale model of the solar system which will allow people to open their minds to the vastness of space. 2. A large-scale model of the planets, so they can interact with the surface and size of each planet.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf3/astronomy-for-all-construction-of-a-3d-planetarium-with-low-cost-materials-for-the-inclusion-of-the-visually-impaired/
community development, astrotourismAstronomy for Himalayan Livelihood CreationIndiaGlobal Himalayan Expedition (GHE) (www.ghe.co.in) seeks to provide clean energy access, Digital education and Livelihood access through solar power for the remote unelectrified Himalayan communities, located in the higher reaches of the Himalaya above 13000 ft, by providing energy access through DC solar micro-grids. Energy access intervention has acted as a tool for further development and growth in these remote areas and has led to an increase in income and livelihood creation through promotion of Eco Tourism over the years. The project plan is to leverage Astronomy as a means to further develop the economy of the region by promoting Astro Tourism in these rural Himalayan solar homestays that have been setup by GHE. These 30 solar Himalayan homestays are run by local village women, and are promoted as off- beat destinations for the tourists who travel to these villages to experience local cultural and traditions. This helps the women to earn additional income from the incoming trekkers during the tourist season. Our plan revolves around educating these local village women entrepreneurs and training them on basics of astronomy, providing them each with a telescope, which they can promote as an additional feature of the homestay and help bring additional tourism and income. The project plan is to leverage astronomy as a key tool for creating a holistic development model for these communities in a sustainable and scalable manner.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf3/astronomy-for-himalayan-livelihood-creation/
capacity building, university-levelDeveloping Astronomical Skills in NepalNepalThe main objective of this project is to provide a research opportunity in astronomy/astrophysics as a part of their curriculum to undergraduate students in Nepal. The project will be implemented in different stages: February-March 2018 Students who are opting for their research/project work on astronomy/astrophysics in 4th year of B.Sc. physics program be invited to participate in the workshop. Participants in the workshop will learn about different areas of research in astronomy/astrophysics and get an opportunity to discuss their expression of interest for the project works with the resource persons. Maximum of 15 students will be selected and provided reading materials. Students will discuss topic and work on literature review. April-June 2018 Observation, Computation & Discussion: Students will be provided data, computational facilities and guidance for the research on assigned topics and be trained on scientific programming with Python as required for the computational purposes. July-November 2018 Thesis/Journal Publications: Student will be supported for the publication of their research work in one of the peerreviewed journal as possible.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf1/developing-astronomical-skills-in-nepal/
teacher trainingFormation of Tutors for AstrolabSouthern AfricaIn previous years Starlight in the university lab: Practical activities for Scientific Skills (or in short Astrolab) was developed. Astrolab is an enquiry-based lab primarily for undergraduated students. It is implemented in Nigeria, Rwanda and Zambia. (see Reports on the OAD/Projects Funded/TF1). Astrolab was presented at the Mearim IV Conference in 2017. The audience considered it a very useful project, but the main problem for implementing Astrolab in various African countries was the insufficient preparedness of tutors, often because their interest and research domain was in theoretical astrophysics. We propose to have a workshop at the Zululand university to give future tutors a thorough one week training to enable them to direct and monitor students performing their Astrolab projects. We target some 15 to 20 tutors from countries in southern Africa, including tutors from universities in less developed South African regions. With this experience, the tutors will have the ability to set up and conduct this programme. Additionally, manuals are provided as well as e-mail support when necessary, either to the tutors or, in some cases, directly to the student.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/formation-of-tutors-for-astrolab/
school-level, gender equalityGirls Astronomy Camp Abuja, NigeriaNigeriaThe project aims to host an astronomy camp for girls in Abuja, Nigeria because Northern Nigeria have the country’s worst girl-child education. Figures from the Federal office of Statistics in Nigeria shows that, only 20% of literate women are from the North. It is believed that gender inequality in Northern Nigeria is promoted by religious and communal customs, which has grave consequences for both the individual and the society, making a girl-child dysfunctional member of the society. This innovative astronomy camp would give the children the first taste of space science and technology. Our target is to select fifty girls from different primary schools in Abuja, Nigeria for a camping exercise. The girls will learn about astronauts and space missions to add to their knowledge of spaceflights and a little bit of mathematics. This is more likely to increase children’s interest in space research and space-based technology. We will run through presentations and exercises between 16:00 and 19:00 to prepare the pupils for night observation session. The night observation session will run from 19:30 to 20:15 and camp closes by 20:30.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf2/girls-astronomy-camp-abuja/
capacity building, university-levelKathmandu Astrophysics School 2018NepalKAS2018 is a 9-day astrophysics school on ‘Computational Methods in Astrophysics’ targeting 25 advanced University students from Nepal (~80%) and abroad (~20%). Academic lectures are complemented by supervised hands-on group projects for optimal active learning, and by science education/professional skill development seminars. KAS2018 builds upon a successful pilot held in October 2016 at Tribhuvan University (KAS2016), and aims at mentoring and upskilling advanced undergraduate/early graduate Nepali students in both professional and academic areas through engagement with a highly-qualified international faculty. Special focus is given to diversity and gender equity, reflected in the SOC/faculty composition, with active efforts to solicit qualified female applicants. Lodging and meals are provided to all students to maximize equality, collegiality and networking. KAS2018 is a gateway to a long-term series of schools for a profound, positive impact on the Nepali educational system and society.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/kathmandu-astrophysics-school-2018/
cultural astronomy, documentary, indigenous populationsLAMBA INDIGENOUS ASTRONOMYZambiaThe results of an inquiry into the indigenous and cultural astronomy of the Lamba people of the Copperbelt Province of Zambia have been reported in the first stage inquiry. The study has assessed the oral astronomy knowledge, culture and beliefs which relate to celestial bodies, astronomy events and related behaviour that are held by the elderly persons and passed on to the younger generation. Nine districts of the Copperbelt Province of Zambia were randomly sampled. These include Mpongwe, Lufwanyama, Ndola, Kitwe, Kalulushi, Chililabombwe, Masaiti, and Luanshya. Knowledge of traditional astronomy levels is high among the elderly people and declines with age of the younger generation hence the need for documenting this knowledge before it fades away. We seek to produce a documentary, a book and audio clips of the findings of this indigenous astronomy inquiry as a means to store the information as it has been told and consequently preserve it. A follow-up to the areas and to persons who were interviewed and who participated in the focus group discussions will be made to consolidate the video and oral recordings. The records will be combined, edited to produce an appealing documentary of the project findings.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf3/lamba-indigenous-astronomy/
capacity buildingSouth West and Central Asian Regional Summer School and WorkshopArmenia, Georgia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgizstan, Turkey, UzbekistanArmenian Astronomical Society together with the Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (BAO) has been active in organizing international summer schools for young astronomers and joint workshops with Georgian and Iranian astronomers. Very often they precede each other to give chance to the students to participate in both events. After the establishment of the IAU SWCA ROAD, we are strongly interested to involve students and senior astronomers from SWCA ROAD countries in all our events. This time, on 10 -16 September 2018 we organize a regional summer school “Techniques and Tools for using Astronomy for Development ” , where students from Armenia, Georgia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgizstan, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Israel, Azerbaijan, Russia and Ukraine, as well as from Arabic countries will participate, altogether 25 participants. On 17-21 Sep 2018, a regional astronomical workshop “Astronomy for Development in our Developing World” will follow to involve senior astronomers as well. The lecturers will be internationally renowned scientists from Europe and elsewhere. There will be a number of astronomical topics and organizational ones related to regional collaboration, joint use of the telescopes, future events, etc. The project will also follow the equality between male and female astronomers, so females will be especially supported to participate.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf1/south-west-and-central-asian-regional-summer-school-and-workshop/
teacher trainingStarry Nights in Cape Verde - Astronomy reaches out West African IslandsCape Verde, São Tomé and PrincipeSN-CV project will promote Galileo Teacher Training (GTTP) workshops and astronomy education activities at the university and schools of 4 Cape-verdean islands during 15 days, in Oct. 2018. Our target audiences are teachers, STEM undergraduates and school students. We'll also dedicate 1 day of our program to work with vulnerable children. SN-CV is lead by an international team from Cape Verde, Portugal, Brazil and Principe, all members of the IAUPLOAD. The project's main goals are to train teachers to use web-based technologies in astronomy to promote their digital literacy as well as to encourage the transmission of this knowledge to their students, that will also be supported by the educational resources donated to the teachers and schools. We'll promote the capacity building of Principe and Cape Verde members, who are less familiar with astronomy concepts than the other members. At the end of the activities, SN-CV team will join the PLOAD annual meeting, to be held in Praia.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf2/starry-nights-in-cape-verde-astronomy-reaches-out-west-african-islands/
capacity building, university-levelSummer Workshop on Radio Astrophysics,
Tonantzintla 2018
Latin AmericaWe will introduce the topic of Radio Astrophysics to students in the last year of careers in Physics, Engineering and related areas. The registration will be open to Universities of the Latin American Region that does not have or is implementing radio astronomical infrastructure. Our motivation to promote this specific area is the relatively recent beginning of operation and increasing scientific production of ALMA and the Large Millimeter Telescope (LMT), two world-class and largest millimeter-wavelength facilities built in Latin America. The workshop will be divided in two sections: a first week with regular lectures to provide fundamental knowledge and topics related to radio-astronomy, and a second week with “hands on” projects led by researchers in the Astrophysics Department of INAOE. In 2016, a dozen students from different states of Mexico and two students from universities in Center and South America attended our first workshop. All transportation costs had to be covered by the students. For the 2017 workshop, the number of participants was increased to 20, including students from Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Costa Rica, and Mexico. It was thanks to the support from IAU-OAD that we were able to cover all the traveling expenses for the students, which opened the opportunity to include students from a wider range of Latin American countries. Our main goal for 2018 is to repeat the success of the TNT2017 workshop.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/summer-workshop-on-radio-astrophysics-tonantzintla-2018-2/
art and astronomy, onlineSYSTEM Sounds- Bringing the Music of the Spheres Down to EarthCanada, onlineSYSTEM Sounds is a science-art project which translates astronomical systems and data into music and sound, and integrates them into high quality videos with broad public appeal. Following the success of our initial releases on TRAPPIST-1 and Saturn, we wish to extend this project to other systems with a focus on well known objects and newsworthy astronomical discoveries. A natural translation to music is possible in many astronomical systems due to the frequent appearance of resonances and periodic signals within and beyond the solar system. In addition to increasing the quantity and quality of our work, we seek funding to increase its accessibility to the blind and visually impaired, who are in a unique position to benefit from our astronomical ‘musicalizations’. We will create descriptive narrations for each of our videos and redesign our website to conform to standard accessibility guidelines. The videos will be integrated into a new planetarium show which will be distributed to planetariums and science museums around the world after its premiere at the University of Toronto.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf3/system-sounds-bringing-the-music-of-the-spheres-down-to-earth/
capacity building, university-levelThird ArAS School for AstrophysicsEgypt, Algeria, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, UAE, Lebanon, PalestineThe Arab Astronomical Society School for Astrophysics (ArAS SfA), previously named “Arab Winter School for Astrophysics” (AWSA), is an initiative of the Arab Astronomical Society (ArAS). ArAS SfA's objective is to give students the opportunity to be trained by professional astronomers to make up the shortage of expertise in the field. To give more flexibility to the hosting countries, we decided to change the name of the “Arab Winter School for Astrophysics” (AWSA) to the “ArAS School for Astrophysics” (ArAS SA). This gives the organizers the opportunity to be adapted to the local hosting institutions constraints which are different from an Arab country to another. We propose to organize ArAS SA-3 in Morocco at Cadi Ayyad on 6-11 August 2018, a unique event in the Arab World where students will get the opportunity to meet and learn from astrophysics professors and researchers. They will not only learn about different topics and tools in astronomy but also give them the opportunity to learn about current research projects. We'll introduce students to virtual observatories and archival databases, which will help foster an international collaboration. We have already established ties with the American Association of Variable Star Observers. This school will strongly help build regional and international research collaborations between students and researchers and ultimately motivate students to consider professional careers in the field.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf1/third-aras-school-for-astrophysics/
school-level, educationActive Learning Astronomy for Schools in HaitiHaitiHaitian elementary schools are seeking new ways to enthuse children about science, so they will grow up better able to engage the outside world on their own terms. College- age Haitian students working with advisors and volunteers from UMass Lowell have developed and tested an activity- based curriculum in astronomy, space, and earth science. The principal and faculty of our partner school in Les Cayes, Haiti are now eager to become a regional center for training teachers to implement active learning practices, and deepen their ability to teach science. The project also aims to connect US children with their Haitian peers.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf2/active-learning-astronomy-for-schools-in-haiti/
early childhood developmentAstrobabies Astronomy in early childhoodColombiaAstrobabies is an initiative of the Planetarium of Bogota aims to bring to the boys and girls of 0 to 3 years to knowledge, skills and attitudes of science, specifically the Astronomy, astronautics and related sciences through music, playful and sensorial, working hand in hand with the families and the institutions that are responsible for working with the Early Childhood. http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf3/astrobabies-astronomy-in-early-childhood/
inclusion, education, indigenous populationsAstronomy for all- Amazon Astro NEPABrazilThe NEPA/UEA/CNPq [English: Nucleous for Teaching and Research in Astronomy] is a research group located within the International Amazon and has developed actions that respect local knowledge (I refer to the Brazilian Indigenous). In fact, they have a big challenge ahead, namely: to rescue their identity because every day the urban exodus depart indigenous youth of the knowledge and customs of their native culture. To contribute significantly in the social and educational sphere, the NEPA/UEA/CNPq proposes actions related to Astronomy Education in relevance, Indigenous Astronomy. Several teaching resources will be used for young people (from 7 years to 17 years) to rescue the pride of science developed by its people and interest in the study of astronomy, which in this case is linked to rituals. Also in the social and educational level, the NEPA/UEA/CNPq proposes the development of actions that promote scientific literacy of students with Down syndrome. There is still a third audience to be reached: the speaking students in LIBRAS (Brazilian Sign Language). Overall, this proposal is focused on the scientific literacy of young people (indigenous and non-indigenous) and schools that offer regular courses in Basic Education . They are riverine schools, rural schools, urban schools and Indigenous schools, all within the State of Amazonas, Brazil, within the International Amazon. Finally, as the aim is to encourage the study of astronomy for children and schools, we intend to enter Astronomy classes for late youth, ie, meet the young people who are in EJA (Education for Youth and Adults) and the best age (people over 60). The Astronomy Study create awareness of the importance of maintaining a harmonious relationship with nature and respect the planet itself, thereby promoting the quality of life. This proposal is being backed by the PLOAD and Andean ROAD, allowing the exchange of knowledge. http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/astronomy-for-all-nepa/
capacity building, university-levelAstronomy Winter School in IndiaIndia, CanadaWe will run a four day winter school in astronomy for undergraduate university students. Target students are aspiring astronomers or astronomy enthusiasts that are enrolled in other programs. Lectures and hands-on workshops will be led by leading practitioners in the field. A workshop on stellar clusters will also be held on the last day and show students some of the latest developments in research. A minimum of 50 spaces will be open to students from all countries, and local accommodation and meals will be subsidized. We aim for an inclusive winter school that will encourage and foster regional and gender equity. The event also serves to promote cultural exchange and awareness between students from the developed and developing world, with many Canadian students expected to also attend. Interaction between students and between lecturers and students are high priorities. Career counseling by lecturers through discussion groups and informal interactions is also an important part of the school. This is one of the largest winter schools in the region and we seek to promote the development of professional astronomers through this event. A secondary goal is to reach the general public in the host city through the organization of a public lecture and panel discussion.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf1/astronomy-winter-school-in-india/
capacity building, university-level, big dataBig Data in Astronomy A tool for Social InnovationMauritiusThe result of social innovation is all around us. There are signs that social innovations are becoming more and more important. We are submerged by a tsunami of Big Data and data driven innovations. Big Data have been put into practice to help solve social problems. However, small emerging countries in this field are always struggling. This can be due to lack of resources (human and technology) or inadequate use of resources available. We present a new ecosystem for social innovation through Astronomy education via Big Data Analytics. We look at novel methods for educating University learners about Big Data in Astronomy through an innovative pedagogical Education method. Participants will learn how they can apply their various skills to contribute to the betterment of society. We believe that through education at all levels, we can make a paradigm shift for the future generation to prepare them to face the data driven deluge that will present itself once big Astronomical projects such as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) come online.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf1/big-data-in-astronomy-a-tool-for-social-innovation/
inspiration, peace, educationColumba-Hypatia Astronomy for PeaceCyprus"Columba-Hypatia: Astronomy for Peace" is a joint astronomy outreach project by GalileoMobile and the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (AHDR) which will take place on the divided island of Cyprus. The aim of the project is to use astronomy as a tool for promoting meaningful communication and a Culture of Peace and Non-violence between the various communities living on the divided island. At the same time the project aims to inspire young people, through astronomy, to be curious about the world we live in, about science and the cosmos. To achieve this, we will conduct activities in schools in the North and South of the border as well as bring the children together at the Home for Cooperation, a neutral space in the United Nations controlled "buffer zone", to engage in astronomy activities and explore the cosmos together. This will facilitate the goal of bringing together people from the different communities of Cyprus "under the same sky", to construct bonds based on similarities, rather than focusing on our differences. http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf2/columba-hypatia-astronomy-for-peace/
school-level, educationCosmic Code First ContactSouth Africa, Zimbabwe, BotswanaCoding is the language of the 21st century, where nearly everything in modern society is driven by coding. Astronomy is no exception, where coding is used to explore the universe. Whether it is through telescopes, satellites or robots exploring planets, coding is an essential instrument of astronomy. The Cosmic Code: First Contact is a project that aims to introduce coding within an astronomy setting to the rural communities of Zululand (and beyond!). Many of these communities have not had any first-hand experience with information technologies, such as computers. This project will serve as the first point of contact, introducing the communities to computers through coding. The programme will entail a workshop in which participants will programme miniature Raspberry Pi robots using Python coding. The workshop begins with developing some of the soft skills of computing and coding through Scratch (pictorial code). From this level the workshop will proceed into using Python coding (written code). By combining the Python coding with Raspberry Pi robots, it allows the participants to see tangible applications of the code they write. This has a direct link to how astronomy uses coding to control planetary exploring robots or orbiting satellites. The programme will be aimed mainly at school children but will also be offered to young adults and the elderly. The Cosmic Code programme will also include a detailed workshop on career advice as to ensure the programme does not simply stop at making people aware of coding but ultimately makes coders of them! The project will engage and partner with other organisations such as Africa Code Week. The programme aims to expand the workshop to other countries such as Botswana and Zimbabwe. "Coding is today's language of creativity. All our children deserve a chance to become creators instead consumers of computer science." - Maria Klawehttp://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf2/cosmic-code-first-contact/
capacity building, hackathonGaza Astronomy Techno Apps bootcampPalestineAstronomy gives us a chance to travel through the sky and to strongly break down the siege. As Palestinian youth we want to give our people hope, passion, and desire to live. We aim to raise awareness of astronomy knowledge in our society through an organized challenges that excites the astronomical passion, and love inside astronomy amateur's heart. We will integrate technology, the jewel of the time, with Astronomy through a three-day boot camp challenge between 40 astronomy-related ideas. International and local mentors will select the best three ideas in order to be incubated for an intensive astronomical workshops implemented by the organizers.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf3/gaza-ambassadors-of-universe/
capacity building, university-levelGuatemalan School of Astrophysics 2017Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Mexico, BelizeWe want to launch the third GUAtemalan School of Astrophysics (GUASA). We aim to organize one of these schools every two years, and due to the great success of the first two, we are optimistic of rising funds for the next edition, which we plan held in Antigua Guatemala in 2017. The school aims to bring together local Central American/Caribbean undergraduate students of physics/mathematics/engeneering, with experts from prestigious astronomical institutions from around the world. During each of the editions, we expect to cover a wide range of modern topics of astrophysics in order to motivate the students to pursue major degrees in astronomy elsewhere. We hope that this school will contribute to create a critical mass of professional astronomers/astrophysicists in the region along with the conditions needed for research, thus leading to the creation of strong astrophysics departments in the Universities of the region. In the future, after a few editions of GUASA, we hope to be able to include lecturers from the local academic community. As a complementary activity of every edition of GUASA, we also want to organize outreach activities for the general public, such as public lectures followed by observations using small telescopes. These activities we hope, will encourage children and teenagers to get closer to science and to continue their studies aiming for superior education.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf1/guatemalan-school-of-astrophysics-2017/
capacity building, university-levelHaiti All Sky Camera 2HaitiThe currently funded Haiti All Sky Camera (HASC) project has taken an All Sky camera to Haiti and introduced Haitian college students to astronomy, the python programming language and how to operate this camera using Python. Here we propose to continue to build on the existing infrastructure in a number of ways. We plan to make the telescope more portable by using a Raspberry Pi for the data taking, now making it possible to take the unit into the field powered by a battery! In addition we propose to expand the astronomy/python curriculum, as well as show case the All Sky camera at a number of colleges and high-schools with, including more remote locations without power. Our collaboration between Haitian and U Maryland students continues, as this project is also partially funded via UMD. We also continue to fund one Haitian student at attend the GRAD-MAP winter workshop at U Maryland. Our three partners in Haiti are l'Ecole Superieure d'Infotronique d'Haiti (ESIH), Universite Quisqueya (UNIQ) and College Catts Pressior, as well as a school project in Les Cayes.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf1/haiti-all-sky-camera-2/
teacher training, school-levelHands on Basic Space Science training for Primary and Junior Secondary School Science TeachersNigeriaHBSST is a workshop designed to Promote Interest for Astronomy for Astronomy appreciation for primary schools and junior secondary school science teachers in Nigeria and to bring the basic observational tools of Astronomy and space science closer to them. In 2015, through the effort of the Centre for Basic Space Science Nsukka, in Nigeria, Astronomy has recently been accredited in the primary and Secondary School Teaching Curriculum. This would be a unique opportunity to offer specialized training in Astronomy to teachers, since education at primary school and secondary school level is in a developing state. Astronomy unawareness will cause serious harm to technological society, thus our younger generation and the teachers should be exposed to this interesting field of science. In Africa, especially Nigerian, we have myth, superstitious beliefs, anxiety, fear, misconception etc relating to many astronomical events, and to eradicate all these misconceptions, we need a strong science movement through Astronomical popularization/workshops at the grass root level. These teacher hands on training will aim at upgrading the skills, teaching tools and aids of these teachers, equipping them with innovative and simple method of teaching and learning. The teachers will also be trained to use Basic Space Sciences activities as a teaching tool for their subject's concepts. The course material will include Astronomy based activities and hands on science/astronomy using low cost/locally available material. The 3-day workshop which we intend to carry out to cover Teachers from all Primary and Secondary School Nigeria, will encompass talks, hands on activities, demonstrations, Water rocket building and launching, Construction of small optical Telescopes using locally made materials, observation using a small optical telescope, Eclipse and Solar system model making, planetarium, Solarscope, Experiments and demonstrations using Universe in a Box apparatus, group work and innovation as well as public outreach. http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf2/hands-on-basic-space-science-training-for-primary-and-secondary-school-teachers/
capacity building, university-levelLatin American School of Observational Astronomy 2017Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru In Latin America there is great enthusiasm for astronomy and interest in developing local observatories, but there are few astronomers in some of these countries able to develop new talents. In 2008, members of the Astronomy Institute at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM) and the Instituto Nacional de Astronomía, Óptica y Electrónica (INAOE) developed a short course including theoretical lectures with nightly observations for undergraduate students with little knowledge of astronomy. The National Observatory in Tonantzintla hosts the Latin American School of Observational Astronomy to take advantage of its 1m telescope and various smaller telescopes. The twelve students chosen for the course from the applicants come from various countries in Central and South America. From Monday to Friday during the three-week course, they attend two lectures given by professors from the best universities in Mexico and they learn observational techniques during nightly observing sessions with professional observers. After learning the basics of how to use the equipment, they take part in professional scientific observations which, for the last two years, been published in peer-reviewed journals. The students also learn how to reduce and interpret their data. Since its inception 108 students have completed the course, and many are now doing graduate studies in related fields in Germany, Austria, The Netherlands, Switzerland, the USA, Mexico, Colombia, Honduras, Costa Rica, Chile, among others. The bonds of friendship and collaboration they formed at the school have aided in the creation of networking opportunities in social media sites. These links will aid them and their countries in the future. http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf1/2017-latin-american-school-of-observational-astronomy/
inclusion, school-levelLooking...Up! Astronomy for AllGreeceThe project "Looking ...Up! Astronomy for All" (Up4All) aims to promote inclusive astronomy education. In order the project's goal to be achieved Up4All will organize the follow activities: a) open to public Observational Days in Special Education Schools (in the wider region of Thessaloniki/ Central Makedonia / Greece) , b) Workshops for Teachers on how Astronomy can be integrated in terms of formal and non-formal learning, using innovative teaching tools and c) Workshop for teachers on creating educational astronomical videos. A numerous of Special Education Schools will be the center of the open to public Observational Days bringing together students of typical development and students with special educational needs and/or disabilities and also of fun hands-on activities "“ like treasure hunt, tablets, "Meet our neighbours " from astroedu, "Barycentric Balls" from ESA, etc"“ will be implemented engaging students with core concepts of astronomy while having fun. Moreover, in order to highlight the need of integrate innovative teaching of the Astronomy in the curriculum and to give to teachers all the tools necessary for integrating Astronomy on their educational scenario, two types of Workshops will be held: a) Workshop for Teachers (in Greek) in parallel of Observational Days at Special Education Schools and b)Two (2), two-days Workshops for Teachers (in English), one on Media in science teaching practice "“ Movies on Astronomy at School and one on Video "“ software & apps / Video & Astronomy. "Looking ...Up! Astronomy for All" project will be implemented with the collaboration of NUCLIO (http://nuclio.org), Greek Educational Radio-Television (EduTV - http://www.edutv.gr/) and INCLUDE (http://include-edu.blogspot.gr/p/include-s-cv.html) as coordinator, as well with the participation of distinguished European Teachers and Scientists. Finally, we want our project to be a 'pilot' and to spread the knowledge gained / to other countries eg Croatia, Spain, Portugal., etc, looking for potential collaborators. http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf2/looking-up-astronomy-for-all/
capacity building, university-levelMadagascar Astronomy Python WorkshopMadagascarMadagascar has recently introduced astronomy and astrophysics curriculum at Masters level at the University of Antananarivo. Students come from Physics background have embarked into the programme however there are lack of local expertise to conduct widely used cutting edge tools for research. This workshop will deliver a practical programming in Python for astronomy students (along with a crash course and tips for Physics lecturers). We aim to build on astronomy tools that students / lecturers at the university can develop for their research and teaching therefore will have further impact to the community for a long term basis.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf1/madagascar-astronomy-python-workshop/
planetarium, mediaNaval Hill Planetarium- Context-appropriate Content Development ProjectSouth AfricaThe Naval Hill Planetarium is presently the only digital planetarium in South Africa. Planetarium patrons come from vastly diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. In order to make pre-rendered shows (typically produced in developed countries in the northern hemisphere) accessible and relevant, we need to produce supporting full dome planetarium content and translate existing content so that we have at least two full dome films in two indigenous languages which include Sesotho. We also need to develop our own original content. The project will focus on developing new content that will be culturally relevant and speak to the needs of the local population and also focus on Southern African astronomical projects of international stature. In addition, the project will ensure that we develop the capacity (human resources) to produce our own content in the future, thereby making us less reliant on very expensive licenses, and keeping our planetarium offerings fresh. The Iziko Planetarium in Cape Town will soon be upgraded to house a similar digital planetarium projection system as that of the Naval Hill Planetarium. Thus, any planetarium content that we develop that appeals to the South African context has the potential to be used in the Iziko Planetarium as well as our planetarium. We have for example already produced an Afrikaans sound track for the ESO full dome film From the Earth to the Universe. Staff from the Iziko Planetarium indicated that they will find this very useful. The next step, as part of this project, is to produce a Sesotho and possibly also a Xhosa sound track for this film.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf3/naval-hill-planetarium-context-approrpriate-content-development-project/
light pollution, awareness, educationOpen Design Dark Sky SimulatorGlobalThe idea is to design a physical simulator that will demonstrate the effects of light pollution on the sky and the difference that well-designed lighting will make. The simulator will consist of a LED-based board and a number of light fixtures varying from full-cutoff dark-sky friendly lights to completely unshielded lights. The board, which can be flat or curved depending on space requirements, will simulate the night sky using LED's of variable brightness, simulating stars of various magnitudes and constellation patterns. The board will be illuminated by the light fixtures and users can use buttons to switch between light fixtures as well as increase or decrease light intensity. This will create a first-hand experience for demonstrating the effect of light pollution as different light fixtures will have different effect on the number of stars visible. The simulator can be used in exhibition halls, conferences, science museums or any other place where light pollution effects can be demonstrated. This physical simulator can provide superior experience for visitors in relation to videos/posters or other usual methods of exhibiting light pollution effects. The purpose is not to create a single simulator but to provide to the public the full instructions including materials needed, dimensions, programming code, electrical wiring etc. so anyone interested can build such a simulator in their local community. Emphasis will be given on using readily available materials that exist in households or that can be purchased at minimal price so everyone can construct at minimal cost. http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf3/open-design-dark-sky-simulator/
academic exchange, capacity buildingRevitalizing Astronomy Education and Research in Myanmar UniversitiesMyanmarThe educational system of Myanmar is government-operated. There are 158 Universities in total under the management of Ministry of Education. There are three types of Universities, the Arts and Science Universities including our University (Mandalay University), University of Computer Science and Technological Universities. Role of Astronomy Education in Myanmar Universities has diminished for decades due to the various reasons. In the old time, there were a number of lecturers who offered astronomy courses in Physics and Mathematics Departments. However, after they got retired, in new generation, there remains very few staff in this field and a small portion of Astronomy is provided in undergraduate course of Mathematics. We are aware of the significance of Astronomy and Astrophysics and would like to revitalize and Promote Interest for Astronomy for Astronomy Education in Myanmar Universities. Physics Department of Mandalay University will take a leading role in implementing this project since Mandalay University is the oldest University in upper Myanmar and is offering degrees and diplomas including Ph.Ds. We are planning to introduce the basic course of Astronomy and Astrophysics for undergraduate students in coming Academic year 2017. However, the challenging problems encountering in this endeavor are lack of human resources, requirements of refreshing courses for faculty, needs of assistance from expertise for syllabus and curriculum development. Under this project, 8 members would visit to NARIT in 2017 to develop appropriate syllabus and curriculum for Astronomy in undergraduates with an assistance of NARIT staff. After their return, a workshop on Astronomy education will be held in Mandalay University inviting at least a staff from each University in Myanmar to discuss and approve the syllabus and curriculum. We hope this project would give us a good opportunity to achieve our goal of revitalizing Astronomy Education in Myanmar University, Myanmar.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf1/revitalizing-astronomy-education-and-research-in-myanmar-universities/
capacity building, university-levelSummer Workshop on Radio Astrophysics, Tonantzintla 2017México, Central America, South AmericaThe "Summer Workshop on Radio Astrophysics, Tonantzintla 2017" will introduce the topic of Radio Astrophysics to students in the last year of careers in Physics, Astronomy, Engineering, and related fields. The registration will be open to students from Mexican and Central/South American institutions. Our main motivation to promote this specific area is the recent beginning of scientific operation by a new generations of mm-wavelength facilities (e.g. ALMA and the Large Millimeter Telescope, LMT). Particularly, INAOE is currently responsible for the operation of the 50m-LMT, the largest single-dish telescope optimized for observations at mm-wavelengths (1mm), installed in México in collaboration with the U. of Massachusetts, USA. The workshop is divided in two sections: a first week with lectures presenting the fundamental concepts of radioastronomy, and a second week where each student develops a short project supervised by researchers from the Astrophysics Department of INAOE and, mostly, using LMT data. To address technical aspects of the lectures and support some of the instrumentation projects, we use the 5m historic antenna of the Millimeter Wave Observatory, donated by the U. of Texas to INAOE. A visit to the LMT is included as part of the workshop. For our latest workshop (summer 2016) we received more than 60 applications from highly qualified students. Fifteen students from different states in Mexico and Central/South America (see: http://www.inaoep.mx/~tallermmtnt) were accepted to attend the workshop. Unfortunately, costs for transportation had to be covered by the students. Our goal for next 2017 summer workshop at Tonantzintla, México, is to receive 20 students from Latin America with IAU grants to cover their transportation and insurance.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf1/tonantzintla-2017/
mediaThe Brazilian Network for Astronomical NewsBrazilWe have established a national network of astronomers interested in public outreach to act as liaison between Brazilian astronomers and the press. The members actively pursue the appearance of national research in the press in order to counter the unbalanced coverage of international astronomy-related news; this in turn will bring greater attention to our science and potentially stimulate more students to pursue an academic career. All material will be made available at the Portuguese Language Expertise Centre for the OAD (PLOAD), in the hopes that the project reach can be extended to other Portuguese-speaking countries.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf3/the-brazilian-network-for-astronomical-news/
capacity building, university-levelWest African International Summer School for Young Astronomers 2017West AfricaThe Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute (GSSTI); which is mandated by Ghana Government to develop space science and technology for socio-economic benefit, is building on the success of Nigeria to organize an introductory summer school in astronomy for teachers, undergraduates, and post-graduate students in West Africa. Planning is ongoing and is at its final stages. The summer school will be held in 23rd July-6th August 2017. The team is currently seeking for fund to help implement this dream. As Ghana seeks to launch its first VLBI-capable radio telescope in the last quarter of 2016, the summer school comes at the right moment. During the school, there will be lectures and hands-on experience at the Ghana Radio Astronomy Observatory. Students will have the experience of using the radio telescope; and engage in interactive lectures series delivered by Astronomers from SKA"“South Africa, DARA project team, Canada, University of Nigeria and University of Ghana. The establishment of learning goals and assessment metrics will precede every lecture series. Before each session, students will be given opportunity to indicate their goals for participation to ensure that the expectations of students are met. This makes assessment a critical component of the school to ensure that our interventions work before, during, and after the school.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/west-african-international-summer-school-for-young-astronomers-2017/
infrastructure/instrumentation, outreachAn Astronomy Center in BangladeshBangladeshWe present a pilot astronomy project that includes the development of an Astronomy Outreach Center in Bangladesh. The project is initiated by Anushandhitshu Chokro Science Organization, a science society dedicated to science education and outreach since 1975. The Center will be the first of its kind in Bangladesh and aspires to fulfill two goals cited in the Strategic Planning of IAU: the role of astronomy in promoting global tolerance and citizenship, and being inspirational for careers in science and technology. The center will be integrated with the local schools and colleges for regular observation and small- scale research.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf2/astronomy-center-in-bangladesh/
outreach, educationAstroBus-EthiopiaEthiopiaAstroBus-Ethiopia is a mobile astronomy outreach program that will be carried out by driving a motor vehicle "“ bus - to different locations in Ethiopia. The project aims to Promote Interest for Astronomy for Astronomy Education and Public outreach (EPO), and stimulate a culture of scientific thinking through the use of exciting astronomy activities. These activities include sky watching, public lectures, simple astronomy experiments and others. We believe this idea is an effective approach to reach out to the general public in a creative and inspiring way for promoting astronomy and in general igniting scientific curiosity which in turn drives socio-economic development in Ethiopia.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf3/astrobus-ethiopia/
inspiration, solace, healthAstronomy for Earthquake affected studentsNepalHundreds of thousands of people their school going children were made homeless with entire villages flattened, across many districts of the country by the earthquake this year in Nepal. Centuries-old buildings including many schools were destroyed. Investment will not only be required on infrastructure but also on psychosocial counseling to ensure that children are able to cope with the trauma and resume with their lives. We think Astronomy may help them forget the fear of the earthquake because of its uniqueness and new for their school activities. We are focusing our activities in the school of Gorkha, Nuwakot and Kathmandu.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf2/astronomy-for-earthquake-affected-students/
school-level, educationAstronomy for LiteracySierra LeoneAstronomy for Literacy (AFL) will work to enhance literacy, numeracy and other foundational skills among up to 1250 struggling junior secondary school students in Sierra Leone. It will do this by adapting and developing high quality curriculum resources that are contextually appropriate for this age, ability level, and context. These resources will use astronomy to engage students while building essential skills for further study, work and everyday life.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf2/astronomy-for-literacy/
inclusion, tactile resources, visually impairedAstronomy with all SensesColombiaAstronomy with all senses is a traveling exhibition specially design for people with physical disadvantages in order to let them know about astronomy and other space science to inspire them with the wonders of the universe. However, is also a wonderful material for being used with people who has normal abilities because let them know the importance of all senses.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf3/astronomy-with-all-senses/
community developmentCommunity Development Around Timor ObservatoryindonesiaThis community development project constructs a mutualistic symbiosis between a prospective astronomical observatory in Timor, Indonesia, and its surrounding community. The goal is thriving villages and a successful observatory. The project consists of: (1) Human Capacity Building with programs on empowering human resources (e.g. public officers training) and strengthening school (e.g. teachers training); and (2) Managing Sustainable Resources with programs on fulfilling primary needs (water and energy), by education of STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics) knowledge and skill. The project is conducted by astronomers of Institut Teknologi Bandung and community development experts of Indonesian Institute for Energy Economics.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf3/community-development-around-timor-observatory/
astrotourismDevelopment of Astro Tourism in South West AsiaArmenia, Georgia, Iran, Israel, Turkey, United Arab EmiratesScientific Tourism Chair of Armenian Institute of Tourism proposed a project for development of Astro Tourism in South West Asian (SWA) region. People usually travel to get acquainted with culture, history, art and architecture of the visited country or city. But why not to add astronomical interest to all that? Why not to visit , observatories, laboratories, science museums, planetariums and archaeastronomical sites. SWA has always been visible to the world due to its science and culture, for continuing this tradition we're willing to create "SWA as AstroLand" tour package by grouping ancient and modern astronomical attractions of the region.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf3/development-of-astro-tourism-in-south-west-asia/
capacity buildingGaza Ambassadors of MarsPalestineA group of Gaza youth want to add something to the world's science, we want to be a part of the Astronomy science in our world, we are so ambitious to achieve all of our goals starting by making young students look differently at the sciences in general and the Astronomy in particular that its more than just a subject you need to get high score at, our ultimate goal is to be mentioned by the history of Astronomy.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/gaza-ambassadors-of-mars/
capacity building, university-levelHaiti All Sky CameraHaitiThe Haiti All-Sky Camera (HASC) plans to install a specialized camera in Haiti to view and record the night sky. Students from Université Quisqueya (UNIQ) and Ecole Supérieure d'Infotronique d'Haïti (ESIH) along with students from University of Maryland (UMD) will collaborate on code (python programming) to automate the image (data) collection, process the images, inventory the images (build a database of interesting observations), and showcase the results on the web. The collected imagery will also serve as a hook to teach students (and the public) about meteors, constellations, motions of the night sky, light pollution, and other aspects of astronomy.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/haiti-all-sky-camera/
capacity building, university-levelLatin American School of Observational Astronomy 2016Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Central AmericaIn Latin America there is great enthusiasm for astronomy and interest in developing local observatories but there are few astronomers in these countries able to develop new talents. In 2007, members of the Astronomy Institute at Mexico's National University and the Instituto Nacional de Astronomía, Óptica y Electrónica developed a short course including theoretical lectures with nightly observations for undergraduate students. The National Observatory in Tonanzintla hosts Latin American School of Observational Astronomy to take advantage of its 1m telescope and various smaller telescopes. Since its inception 96 students have completed the course, and many are now doing graduate studies.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf1/latin-american-school-of-observational-astronomy-2016/
infrastructure/instrumentation, capacity buildingRadio Astronomy For EducationBotswana, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, ZambiaThe Radio Astronomy for Education project aims at providing a complete package to build a teaching radio observatory from scratch. The SKA project will stimulate the science communities not only in South Africa and the SKA partner countries but it will attract scientists from around the world. Involving learners and teachers in that thriving adventure is primordial as it will satisfy the growing need for competent assets. Building a teaching radio observatory covers a broad variety of skills spanning from science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). It is thus a perfect multidisciplinary project for Science Faculties.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/radio-astronomy-for-education/
education, outreach, awarenessSky on a BikeIndiaWe propose an Astronomy Outreach programme "“ "˜The sky on a Bike' which will introduce the wonders of the night sky to identified groups of economically disadvantaged and uneducated population in Indian villages with the aim to create scientific temper. Telescopes will be carried on bicycles and set up at locations where public will be gathered. Educators will explain the night sky and show the sky through telescopes, hand out colorful handouts and enact street plays. The objective is to foster a science education and dispel myths, as myths related to celestial events are rampant in many areas of India.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf3/the-sky-on-a-bike/
school-levelSolar System PlayArgentinaWe want to develop two different games that allow kids to learn about Planetary Systems: for the little ones consists of a board with dice by which they can learn about the structure and characteristics of the Solar System during its route; while for older children we propose a card game that aims to form Planetary Systems from a given star and using planetesimals to obtain planets .http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf2/solar-system-play/
school-level, educationSolving Problems and Cosmic ExplorationSouth AfricaThe Solving Problems and Cosmic Exploration (S.P.A.C.E) is a programme in which participants 'journey' to various locations in our universe and are introduced to different scenarios. Each scenario will pose unique problems and challenges to the participant. It is the role of the participant to utilize problem solving skills and creativity to find solutions. A key condition however will be that the solutions have to be sustainable! The project will utilize science shows, workshops (including robotics and tinkering) and exhibitions. The project will also include study on the understanding and perception held by learners on global warming.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf2/solving-problems-and-cosmic-explorations-p-a-c-e/
capacity buildingStarlight (Astrolab) Extended 2016Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, ZambiaIn previous years an initiation to research project was developed for African science students starting an astronomy course, under the name of "˜Starlight in the University Lab: Astrolab'. Three pilots were started, resp. in Rwanda, Nigeria and Zambia. We propose an extension of Astrolab to three or more universities, with several improvements: all necessary software is open source and freely available, all activities are extensively documented in step-by-step procedures, additional instruction will be given by one of the pilot members.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf1/starlight-in-the-university-astrolab-extended-2016/
capacity building, university-levelThe First Arab Winter School for AstrophysicsBahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syrian Arab Republic, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Algeria, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Libya/Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Mauritania, Morocco, Somalia, Sudan, TunisiaInterest in astrophysics in Morocco and Arab countries is growing rapidly. The region finally has a regional office for OAD. However, lacks the critical mass of professional astrophysicists and graduate programs that can contribute to the development of the research in this field. A winter school at Cadi Ayyad University focusing on statistical data analysis and data mining in various astrophysical fields. It will present the theoretical concepts of the main astrophysical fields. Collaboration is already in place with the American Association of Variable Star Observers. Our target is students at the advanced under and postgraduate levels from Arab countries.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/the-first-arab-winter-school-for-astrophysics/
inclusion, tactile resources, visually impairedTouching Space - Accessible AstronomyUnited KingdomThe "Touching Space" initiative aims to introduce the wonders of our Universe via a range of sensory items, such as meteorites, tactile display boards, braille books, auditory media and even smell. These items, which will integrate with software developed with accessibility in mind, are designed to allow people with a wide range of disabilities to experience space in a way never envisaged before. The project will aim to produce items suitable for wide range of ages, from primary school children through to adults with learning difficulties.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf2/touching-space-accessible-astronomy/
capacity building, university-levelUplifting the Mozambican astronomy communityMozambiqueJEDI.mz will be an workshop based on the Joint Exchange Development Initiative to be held in Mozambique aiming to expose young mozambican university lecturers and students to research in Astronomy and Astrophysics. In this workshop we will provide hand-on projects where the students can learn about radio astronomy, astrophysics, cosmology and data analyses. With this we expect to encourage some of these students and university lecturers to go into research careers in the field.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/uplifting-the-mozambican-astronomy-community/
capacity building, university-levelAndean Cosmology SchoolColombiaWe will host a one month school on the theoretical, numerical and observational aspects of cosmology. The school will bring together 4 researchers of international expertise and 25 students from Latin-America. The school will present current methods and research problems in cosmology. With this goal in mind it will tackle not only basic theoretical aspects, but also more advanced numerical and observational techniques. The school will have a focus on the physics of tracers of large scale structure in the Universe and their interest for cosmological application. Furthermore, we have aimed at a large duration for the school. This has the purpose of giving time to the students to create friendship ties and delve deeply into the concepts presented in the school. In this project we seek funding to give grants to fully cover the accommodation and subsidize the costs of meals for 10 students coming from countries different than Colombia. This funding will be key to reach the goal of having a wide range of students from the continent.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf1/andean-cosmology-school/
school-level, educationAstroMcGill Adopt an Astronomer- Space Explorers programCanadaAstroMcGill, the astronomy outreach group at McGill University, requests funds to support a new program called "Adopt an Astronomer". This program will send McGill University's young professional astronomers (graduate students or post-doctoral researchers) to primary school classrooms around Québec, multiple times a year. In other words, each partner classroom will "adopt" their own astronomer, interacting with her/him on multiple occasions during the school year. In addition, each astronomer will be matched with one of McGill's Faculty of Education pre-service/in-service teachers, forming pairs visiting the same classroom throughout the program duration. The goals of this program are two-fold: - Educational: it will provide science mentors to school children, inspiring them to pursue a life-long love of science while teaching and promoting important astronomy concepts. - Pedagogical: it will foster the exchange of skills between the pre-service/in-service teachers (pedagogy, how to engage young children, etc...) and the professional astronomers (knowledge of astronomy and science). These free classroom visits will consist of multiple hands-on, fun astronomy activities and scientific experiments held in the classrooms. The creation and funding of this unique program will open new opportunities for science promotion in Québec. Funding from the IAU Office of Astronomy for Development will be used to cover the cost of transportation to and from the primary schools as well as the cost of materials for the first year of operation, allowing to evaluate the impact of such a program. With the budget requested, we plan to reach over 500 students in the first year, and possibly more in the following years.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf2/astromcgills-adopt-an-astronomer-program/
capacity building, university-levelAstronomy for Africa: Student Support for Astronomy Modules via Distance LearningSouth AfricaThis is a pilot project to support students all over Africa who want to study Astronomy but where the university in their home country does not offer astronomy courses. Most universities offer a standard BSc degree in physics, but well-taught astronomy courses are difficult to find in Africa due to the lack of a larger astronomy community. However, in the event of the SKA coming to South Africa and a few other African countries as well as the African VLBI Network (AVN) which has been initiated by the SKA- SA project office and which involves a number of African countries, it is important to offer the possibility of a degree in Astronomy to all African students. Members of the East African Astronomical Society in particular are keen to expose more students to astronomy during their university studies. African students could obtain a bursary and go to a university abroad to study astronomy, but it would be much more cost-effective and flexible to a person's circumstances if the student could stay at a university in their home country, attend all the physics and mathematics courses required, and register for the required astronomy courses at a university that offers distance learning. The University of South Africa, UNISA, is such a university. There is a precedence case, a collaboration with the University of Free State (UFS) whereby any undergrad modules in astronomy passed through UNISA are counted as electives towards the student's BSc degree at UFS. In other words, the students will be full students registered at a university in their home country and only register for the astronomy modules at UNISA. The university fees at UNISA are reasonably cheap for South African standards, but even these fees are often too high for other African countries. We therefore propose to support a number of students to pay for the UNISA fees for the astronomy modules which, if recognised by the host university, will count as modules towards a BSc degree.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf1/astronomy-for-africa-student-support-for-astronomy-modules-via-distance-learning/
outreach, awarenessAstronomy on Camel CartIndiaManthan Educational Programme Society, India is a not for profit organisation focused to ameliorate and instill fresh methods in science communication and entrepreneurship amongst students and community at large. (www.mepsindia.org). During IYA 2009, Manthan worked on a project 'Astronomy on Camel Cart' during 100 Hours of Astronomy, which outreached to 25 villages, 7 public gardens, 13 urban slums, 20 schools and 4 universities. This project outreached to almost 250,000 people. This project got great success. In continuation of the same though, Manthan is now proposing to carry out a similar large scale project of "˜Astronomy on Camel Cart' for a longer period of time in the Narmada district of Gujarat, India. Under this project. We propose to outreach through camel cart exhibitions, hands-on activities, posters, kits and films in Dediapada, Nandod, Sagbara and Tilakwada talukas of Narmada District of Gujarat State. This district is a tribal district with several people from economic backward regions a socially excluded population in several villages. Under this project we propose to outreach material to the beneficiaries from all the segments of society. We believe that SCIENCE IS FOR ALL. We plan to outreach Astronomy in the form of a Travelling exhibition on Camel Cart to more than 150,000 people from the district. The outreach will be carried out in 3 phases: Phase 1: Introduction to Astronomy Phase 2: Let us learn more about Astronomy Phase 3: Astronomy and Light Under this project we have planned to communicate astronomy at Children, School and Community level. We have planned to visit almost 80 villages in an outreach period of 30 days. We will be working with 2 Camel cart exhibitions. We are sure this project would turn out very interesting results in the area of Astronomy Communication. With the locally available infrastructure and the support from IAU this would be a benchmark project not only on on national level but international level.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf3/astronomy-on-camel-cart/
outreach, awarenessAstronomy Outreach for Inner City YouthUnited StatesCarthage College and the Appalachian Mountain Club will deliver astronomy and nature education and outreach through the Youth Opportunities Program, which addresses underserved inner city youth in poorer areas of the northeast US. This is an important audience, as their home environments do not permit them to experience the natural night sky, nor are they able to see the linkages between astronomical phenomena and the natural world around them. By leveraging the organizational structures already in place, the proposed program will not only directly approach many such individuals, but prepare their teachers and group leaders to bring astronomy content to student groups indefinitely into the future. The specific request is for travel funds (to reach these audiences) and funds for a portable planetarium dome so that the 'natural' night sky can be brought to these students.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf2/astronomy-outreach-for-inner-city-youth/
teacher trainingAstro-Science Ambassadors Outreach for Science Education in TanzaniaTanzaniaAstro-Science Ambassadors are science teachers trained to teach using astronomy as a tool for inquiry based science education in Tanzania. These ambassadors participated in a training workshop which designed to develop astro-science curriculum activities in line with science syllabuses of the United Republic of Tanzania. These materials will be used by the Organization for Science Education and Observatory situated in Arusha, Tanzania. Each ambassador will be responsible for a science subject (Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography or Mathematics) to develop astro-science activities and disseminate these to other teachers and schools. The Astro-Science Ambassador Outreach project is unique and innovative because it is a model for inquiry based science education that has the support of Tanzanian Ministry of Education Regional Officers, local educators, and community members. It is based in Northern Tanzania focusing on the work of the Organization for Science Education and Observatory in Usa River. The project will take astro-science knowledge and skills to more teachers, students, schools and government officers in Arusha region of northern Tanzania. The project will make use of the activities developed by astro-science ambassadors during the astro-science curriculum development workshop in June, 2014. It will use the resources distributed by Telescopes to Tanzania, UNAWE-Tanzania and the Organization for Science Education and Observatory to reach out to schools in the Arusha/Meru region and practice the new activities with the teachers and education officers. By the end of the project we will reach 24 schools, 48 teachers, engage 2 government district education officers and reach up to 1000 students from the region. The project looked to be pilot to the rest of the regions within Tanzania for the government to scale up as well as to other countries in East Africa, in observing the role of astronomy in promoting science and development.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf2/astro-science-ambassadors-outreach-for-science-education-in-tanzania/
outreach, awarenessCosmic Light Bringing Galileo's starry messenger to VietnamVietnamThe last two IAU grants has done something that is unprecedented: we manage to get the entire amateur astronomy communities together to work together and enjoy astronomy together. The two annual meetings have attracted almost 100 participants from more than 10 cities each times. We are also proud to provide students resources to astronomy & space educational programs in Vietnam and abroad. Among all astronomy and space students who are studying in Vietnam or abroad, almost half of them grew up from these amateur clubs. The science and technology platform in Vietnam is still very much primitive. Considering the emotion and the expectation of students from the last two years events, we believe that astronomy is the key to waken up the awareness of Vietnamese, especially the youth, for science and technology. Taking the chance that next year is the international year of light, we are going to organise a nation-wide activities to nurture the children's love of the sky. Beside the normal activities as last years, we plan to deploy two new activities. The first one is to translate and publicise the Galileo's masterpiece "Sidereus Nuncius" into Vietnamese (draft can be found here: http://www.cita.utoronto.ca/~qnguyen/starrymessengerVN.pdf) besides distributing Galileo telescope and teaching the public to make the Galileo telescope. The second activity is inviting two prominent Vietnam expatriat astronomers: Jane Luu (discoverer of the Kuiper Belt Object) and Nguyen Trong Hien (BICEP2 instrumentation group supervisor) to participate with us in reaching out to students. They are the two most influential astronomers to the public in Vietnam right now. Another important work is to maintain the union of all amateur clubs.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf3/cosmic-light-vietnam/
teacher training, onlineDiscover the Universe - e la decouverte de l'Univers - Online workshop for worldwide French teachersFrancophone countriesDiscover the Universe (AÌ€ la découverte de l'Univers) is a Canadian-based program offering free online astronomy workshops for educators. Over the past 4 years, we have reached over 750 teachers and informal educators from all across Canada with extremely positive comments and feedback. Our typical workshop lasts three weeks and includes a weekly webinar on different subject plus activities for participants to do on their own. Everything is accessible on the internet and the webinar can be watched synchronously or asynchronously (recording). All our activities are offered in French and English. While our programs are offered to Canadian educators, we usually get a few international participants, especially in our French workshops. This brought the idea of offering an international workshop for teachers. Since it is harder to find good French resources in astronomy online, we would focus our efforts on a French workshop to begin. As we are already running such webinars, we could use our existing website and resources and adapt them to an international audience. Our plan is therefore: "¢ To offer a FREE 3-week online workshop for teachers covering basic concepts in astronomy (motions of the Earth, moon, solar system, observing the night sky...); "¢ This workshop would be offered entirely via the internet, with a weekly webinar. We also offer activities do to in class as well as digital resources (slides, images, links to interesting websites...). "¢ Our marketing strategy would be to reach many French-speaking teachers from developing countries, especially in Africa. Discover the Universe is offered in Canada by the Canadian Astronomical Society, the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada and the Fédération des astronomes amateurs du Québec.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf2/discover-the-universe-online-workshop-for-worldwide-french-teachers/
outreach, awarenessGalileoMobile ConstellationSouth AmericaGalileoMobile (GM, http://www.galileo-mobile.org) is a non-profit, itinerant education initiative that brings Astronomy to young people in areas with limited access to outreach programmes. Started in 2009 by a group of volunteers, it now performs astronomy-related activities in schools and communities all over the world, and encourages follow- up activities through teacher training workshops and the donation of telescopes and educational resources. Since its creation, GM has organised expeditions to Chile, Bolivia and Peru (2009), Bolivia (2012), India (2012), Uganda (2013), Brazil and Bolivia (2014), and extended actions in Portugal (2012,2013), Nepal (2013) and the United States (2013), reaching over 10,300 students and 1,500 teachers. With its Constellation project, GM aims to establish a South American network of schools committed to the long- term organisation of astronomical outreach activities amongst their pupils and local communities, and to provide the teachers of those schools with the material, training and support required to do so.Each school in the network will benefit from: - the donation of educational material and telescopes; - a personalised long-distance training program for all educators involved; - a plan of outreach activities to be carried out at the schools throughout the school year; - a two-day visit by the GM team, involving outreach activities and teacher training workshops; - access to an online platform created especially for the network, which will facilitate interactions among the schools and with GM. The project will involve twenty-one schools in seven countries (Peru, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile and Argentina), directly reaching at least 100 teachers and 6,000 students. Thanks to the long-term sustainability of the project, more students will benefit from the project through events organised independently by the schools. The Constellation project is a Major Cosmic Light programme in support of the IAU's IYL2015.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf2/galileomobile-constellation/
capacity building, university-levelGuatemalan School of Astrophysics 2015GuatemalaThe GUAtemalan School of Astrophysics (GUASA) aims to bring together local Central American/Caribbean undergraduate students of physics/mathematics/engineering, with experts from prestigious astronomical institutions from around the world. During each edition, we expect to cover a wide range of modern topics of astrophysics in order to motivate the students to pursue major degrees in astronomy elsewhere. We hope that this school will contribute to create a critical mass of professional astronomers/astrophysicists in the region along with the conditions needed for research, thus leading to the creation of strong astrophysics departments in the Universities of the region. In the future, after a few editions of GUASA, we hope to be able to include lecturers from the local academic community. As a complementary activity of every edition of GUASA, we also want to organize outreach activities for the general public, such as public lectures followed by observations using small telescopes. These activities we hope, will encourage children and teenagers to get closer to science and to continue their studies aiming for superior education. Guatemala, along with many countries of the Central American/Caribbean region, lacks of a solid and well consolidated program of astronomy/astrophysics at Graduate level. The GUASA school aims to trigger the change needed to improve upon that situation. We believe that after undertaking a few editions of the GUASA school, this pattern can substantially change by training and motivating good students to enroll them in higher education programs while we campaign the local authorities in favour of the creation of new opportunities to recover their now highly trained and educated professionals.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf1/guatemalan-school-of-astrophysics-2015/
school-levelHow Big Is EarthChile, China, Nepal, Russia, South Africa, USAUsing only the sunlight striking the Earth and a wooden dowel, students can measure the circumference of the earth. Eratosthenes did it over 2,000 years ago. In Cosmos, Carl Sagan shared the process by which Eratosthenes measured the angle of the shadow cast at local noon when sunlight strikes a stick positioned perpendicular to the ground. By comparing his measurement to another made a distance away, Eratosthenes was able to calculate the circumference of the earth. (See Carl Sagan's depiction of this process at (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8cbIWMv0rI.) We will provide an online learning environment where students will be able to do science the same way Eratosthenes did. A notable project in which this was done was The Eratosthenes Project, conducted in 2005 as part of the World Year of Physics; in fact, we will be drawing on the teacher's guide (http://www.physics2005.org/projects/eratosthenes/TeachersGuide.pdf) developed by that project. The difference between that activity and How Big Is Earth? is the online learning environment provided by the iCollaboratory where teachers and students can collaborate, share data, and reflect on their learning of science and astronomy. We will also maintain and share an ongoing database of student measurements. We will collect data on both teacher and student learning from surveys, discussions, and self-reflection done online. Students in each school will collaborate with students around the world; during the first year, schools in six countries will participate. We will share our research about the kinds of learning that takes place only in global collaborations. This is a sustainable project. Another ongoing annual project in the iCollaboratory, The Moon Over Us, has grown from 5,000 students in 2 countries to 6,000 students in 6 countries; total number of students participating has been 15,000. How Big Is Earth? has the same potential to impact the learning of students globally.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf2/how-big-is-earth/
capacity building, university-levelIntroducing Data Analysis in the University SystemZambiaThere is now a new paradigm in astronomy where data from large missions have become accessible to anyone with good computer hardware and access to the internet. In many ways, this has opened up frontier science to those institutions and countries who have not been in the scientific mainstream. However, there is still a significant bar to entry in that the techniques to access and analyze the data can be opaque and poorly documented. We propose to introduce astronomical data analysis into the university curriculum with the goal of enabling students and faculty to participate in new initiatives, including the upcoming SKA partnership of which Zambia is a partner. This is particularly relevant now that the Southern African Regional Node has been established at Copperbelt University and we expect that the modules and teaching techniques developed here will be applicable to the entire region. This will have two parts. The first is an introduction to the software and bibliographic tools, including but not limited to Aladin, Simbad, ADS and GDL, used in everyday astronomical data analysis and the second is an introduction to the available data, primarily SDSS and GALEX. The Project Lead has been involved with big data both in his personal research and in disseminating the techniques through the university system. He will spend approximately 6 months spread over two years at Copperbelt University with visits to other institutions in the Southern African region as required. Big data has now become part of the lexicon of all fields of science and business and astronomy, especially, has been in the forefront of creating and utilizing huge multi-parameter data sets. The skills developed in handling and in interpreting these data sets are applicable to many different professions where critical thinking and a basic understanding of real-world data are important.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf1/introducing-data-analysis-in-the-university-system/
capacity building, university-levelLatin American School of Observational Astronomy 2015MexicoIn Latin America there is great enthusiasm for astronomy and interest in developing local observatories but there are few astronomers in these countries able to develop new talents. In 2007, members of the Astronomy Institute at Mexico's National University and the Instituto Nacional de Astronomía, Óptica y Electrónica developed a short course including theoretical lectures with nightly observations for undergraduate students. The National Observatory in Tonanzintla hosts Latin American School of Observational Astronomy to take advantage of its 1m telescope and various smaller telescopes. Since its inception 96 students have completed the course, and many are now doing graduate studies.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf1/latin-american-school-of-observational-astronomy-2015/
capacity building, university-levelNational School on Astrophysical SimulationNepalBecause of the effective outcome of previous schools of astronomy, Government of Nepal has decided to provide regular support to the national school. The proposed school will be the third but very important step that will combine and extend both previous schools. In this school, participants (Ph.D. and masters' thesis student) will learn the nature of simulations that has been used in the Astrophysics research in recent days. Participants will use PYTHON to write program for SIMULATION using input parameters that will be taken from database. We plan to use SDSS (Sloan Dizitized Sky Survey) DR7-DR10 database of about 20 Supercluster galaxies (Liivamagi et al. 2012, A&A 539, A80; Aryal et al. 2013, MNRAS, 434, 1939) and find expected isotropic distribution curves by performing Monte Carlo simulation for the galaxy orientation study. We intend to publish this effort. Till date, no attempts has been made to study the preferred orientation of angular momentum vectors of SDSS Supercluster galaxies. The objectives of NSAS are as follows: (1) The purpose of this school teach problem identification skill (literature review) to the M.Sc. and Ph.D. students of Nepal. (2) A method of problem solving procedure (simulation/computation) will be taught by using SDSS DR7-DR10 database of galaxies. (3) A Monte Carlo Simulation will be performed in the school to find expected isotropic distributions concerning galaxy orientation. (4) A database of 12 Superclusters (Liivamagi et al. 2012, A&A 539, A80) will be analysed in order to test nonrandom effects in the galaxy alignments. (5) The purpose of this workshop is to bring together experienced as well as young Astrophysics M.Sc. and Ph.D. students of Nepal. In this school we intend study extragalactic astrophysics concerning galaxy orientation and will interpret our simulations in the frame work of the different galaxy evolution models namely Hierarchy, Turbulence, and Pancake.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf1/national-school-on-astrophysical-simulation/
outreach, awarenessO Universo velho, belo e cheio de vidaPortugalPortugal is currently going through a deep and serious economic crisis that affects the elderly as well "“ their economic condition suffered a change and they are easily forgot by the society. In a country in which agriculture was once the maintaining source of the Portuguese people, the elderly are now isolated in faraway inland TF3-2014-1409-UniBelo: English translation followed by Portuguese original villages with no access to new opportunities or simply forgotten in retirement homes. There are several reports of old people found dead at home days after the happening. [1] Recent studies show that it is vital to maintain intellectual activity in order to prevent mental diseases. [2] [3] In this project we intend to make the young and the elderly come closer by participating in activities related to astronomy. All activities are aimed at the involvement of the local youth community - schools and families of the elderly. It is planned to implement activities in the following places: - Nursing/Retirement homes with the appropriate equipment for the target audience and the astronomy activities: Solar observation, Moon and Stars observation, clarifying doubts session, etc. - Villages: churches, parks - depending on the specificity of the place and the characteristics of the target audience there will be organised outdoors festivals of astronomy using telescopes. - Observatory: visit to the Telescope Dome, to the Planetarium and the Building of Museological Collection. http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf3/o-universo-e-velho/
media, podcastObsesion por el cielo- Weekly astronomy radio show and Un Paseo por el Cielo- A descriptive guide to the night skyMexico"Obsesión por el Cielo" (Obsession for the Sky) is a weekly radio show where we talk about astronomy and space exploration. It is broadcast live on the radio station of the Universidad de Monterrey, in the metropolitan area of Monterrey in Mexico. It can also be heard live anywhere in the world through the internet, and the show is also offered as a podcast. This radio program started to air in the year 2000 and to date we have produced 570 shows, the last 205 which are available as podcasts. In each program we offer a summary of the most relevant astronomy news of the previous week, alerts of astronomical events that can be observed the following week, and we mostly discuss and comment on a specific topic related to the study and exploration of the Universe. As part of the radio program we have also started a new project to help the public familiarize themselves with the night skies ("Un Paseo por el Cielo" - A Stroll About the Sky). It consists of four 50-60 minute audio recordings in which we help the observers orient themselves in the night sky and describe the location, shapes and mythologies of the constellations available that particular season. We decided to apply our learned radio communication skills and thus create an audio that can be listened to at the same time as looking up at the night sky. To our knowledge there is no such resource available in Spanish. We are asking for funds to continue the radio show ́s web presence (podcast site maintenance) for the next three years, and to help cover the costs of production (writing, recording, editing and CD manufacturing) of the audio shows. Both products will be freely available to the general public.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf3/obsesion-por-el-cielo-a-weekly-astronomy-radio-show/
infrastructure/instrumentation, capacity buildingOptical camera for a 14-inch telescope in NamibiaNamibiaThis project is centered on purchasing an optical camera for the use with a 14-inch telescope in Windhoek, Namibia. Namibia is home to the world's largest gamma-ray experiment, the High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.) project. Also, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope will partly be constructed in Namibia and in other several African partner countries. Against this background, the country has been aspiring to engage in serious human capital development programs in astronomy to enable the locals to partake in these world leading scientific experiments. The Department of Physics of the University of Namibia (UNAM) has been spearheading this process. However, the science goals for both H.E.S.S. and the SKA are so advanced that it presents a challenge to train local students at undergraduate level to directly feed into these experiments without some sort of intermediated educational and observational astronomy program. For this purpose, we intent to use a close-by, privately owned observatory, known as the Cuno Hoffmeister Memorial Observatory (CHMO). The main instrument of CHMO is a 14-inch Schmitt-Cassegrain reflector telescope, with currently has no optical camera. Our intention is to acquire an optical camera for it and use it to perform photometric observations of various astronomical sources. The ultimate goal is to gear the Namibian community towards cutting-edge research in multi-wavelength astronomy involving optical, gamma-ray and radio wavelength regimes. This project will also serve as an introductory and intermediate program in which students are introduced to observational astronomy, data reduction and data analysis from which they can acquire the necessary skills to get involved in high level research with H.E.S.S. and the SKA. The owner of CHMO, Mrs. Sonja Itting-Enke, has for decades been committed to astronomy education for schools and the public and is eagerly looking forward to cooperate with UNAM in making use of this observatory.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf1/optical-camera-for-a-14-inch-telescope-in-namibia/
art and astronomy, awarenessPoetry and Sky CompetitionChinaOur ancestors were closer to the night sky than we are. Celestial objects are mentioned in many Chinese ancient poems. But few people know them when they recite the poetry. The sky nearly never changes. We see the same sky as Li Bai, a Chinese famous poet, did 1200 years ago. In 2013, OAD supported the Chinese Ancient Poetry Astrophotography which encourages people to take pictures of the night sky according to ancient Chinese poems. We organized the Chinese Ancient Poetry Astrophotography Competition (CAPAC) in 2014. We launched the opening ceremony and received Congratulation Video from Mr. Kevin Govender, director of IAU OAD and handwriting from China Former Prime Minister, Wen Jiabao. We developed the website (http://hellosky.lamost.org) as the platform of the competition. The website provides many Chinese ancient astronomy poems, articles, and lecture videos which will help people join the competition. People can submit images and explanation during submission period and vote during the voting period online. We created columns on Amateur Astronomy magazine and social Medias to advertise the project. Now, the first phase focusing on the Moon has finished. There are 52 entries selected from 96 images. The deadline of second phase submitting period is Sep. 10th; we have received more than 100 pictures. And the website home page has had more than 36000 hits. The project had been presented in IPS 2014 and APRIM2014 and got many congratulations: a wonderful and beautiful OAD TF project! We will launch CAPAC awards and exhibition opening ceremony on Dec. 26, 2014. We want to expand the project for the International Year of Light 2015. While continuing with the CAPAC, we will add Sky Poetry Competition (SPC). Let the participants select the image from A Universe of Images (project of IYL2015) and then write poems for them. So the project new name is Poetry and Sky Competition, it will help more people to appreciate the ancient and modern sky.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf3/poetry-and-sky-competition/
education, outreach, awarenessPublic Library Astronomy CornersSouth Africa The SAAO (South African Astronomical Observatory) library wants to create astronomy awareness in our communities. The idea is to identify ten public libraries (5 per Province) per annum and create astronomy corners. This will be done in conjunction with the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture Western Cape and Northern Cape and the City of Cape Town Library Services and Northern Cape Provincial Library services as public libraries report to these departments. The project will only benefit the Western Cape and Northern Cape Provinces and when established and sustainable, it will be rolled out to other provinces too. The SAAO library shall supply all books and informative material to the identified libraries and also include an astronomy training workshop for the ten librarians. The librarians have to dedicate a week or month to astronomy and have activities with the children as per the training supplied by the SAAO. Feedback reports have to be submitted. We are aware that astronomy is part of primary school curricula. Communities in previous disadvantaged areas are always left behind with less growth, especially in science and technology development. The aim of this project is to create science awareness, with emphasis on astronomy in these communities. Educating children from a younger age in astronomy will grow love and passion for the field and soon new emerging young astronomers will be visible.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf3/public-library-astronomy-corners/
art and astronomySensoroteca AstronomicaColombiaWhat is a Sensoroteca? A Sensoroteca is a space in which objects that can be perceived through taste, hearing, smell, touch and sight are stored. This is the same concept as a library structure but in this case, instead of carrying the contents are objects and materials. How is a Sensoroteca used? The Sensoroteca contains a catalog of objects with which you can make presentations and activities on a topic with an emphasis on multi-sensory character. Who is it for? The Sensoroteca is directed to different populations with disabilities, minorities, children, and seniors. In the Planetario de Bogota, astronomy is the main theme that guides the activities performed in their facilities. The Sensoroteca Astronomica objects will be equipped to allow discuss issues with space, physics, chemistry and general cosmography, which can be perceived by taste, hearing, smell, touch and sight. Thus, if at our Space Museum or at our Childrens Room, a guide wants to talk about black holes, you can choose from the available collection of objects those that are related to explain his speech. As such objects may sound, touch, see, smell and perhaps tasted, allow both deaf, the blind, who do not speak Spanish, infants or coming from regions and isolated groups, to interact with concepts and objects involved in this activity. Some examples of the objects and materials are tactile spheres, space sounds, a universe of odors, kinetic astronomy, heat and cold, infrared astronomy, models, among others. The purpose of these activities where multisensoriality is incorporated, is not to create experts in astronomical topics, but raise concerns that awaken interests that promote learning of various kinds.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf3/sensoroteca-astronomica/
inclusion, deaf & hard-of-hearingSign Language Universal Encyclopedic DictionaryGlobalBased on the proposal by Proust (2009) and collaborator as part of the IYA2009, this project proposes the dissemination of a unique language for the deaf worldwide, associated with astronomical terms. While celestial objects are varied and the project can be expanded easily, the proposal will take especial attention to the basic terms linked with the IYL2015, for example light, light year, star, Sun, among others, but as this is a general project, we propose a complete "Sign Language Universal Dictionary" As part of a new cellebration where the Light is involved, the proposal can reach more visibility and can contribute to share all the people on the Globe under the same way to name the astronomical object, instruments, and discoveries using the sign language. The development of this universal sign language of astronomical terms, the related multimedia material and the encycopedic dictionary will be very useful specially for OAD activities which are carried out in a variety of developing countries with different languages, making it possible to carry out the same activities anywhere without the need of them being translated. Reference: Proust, D. (Directeur) (2009). Les mains dans les étoiles.Dictionnaire encyclopédique d'astronomie pour la langue des signes françaises, Burillier Eds, Francehttp://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf3/sign-language-universal-encyclopedic-dictionary/
capacity buildingSummer School on Statistical Data Analysis and Data Mining in AstronomyKenyaThere is a rapidly growing interest in astronomy and astrophysics in Kenya and the East African region. One of the SKA nodes will be located in Kenya and an observatory for optical astronomy has already been commissioned at Entoto in Ethiopia. These developments provide great opportunities for local students and researchers to get involved in as well as initiate their astronomy research projects. However, there are very few experts in astronomy and astrophysics in the east African region, and even less expertise in how to process, understand, and exploit astronomical data. We propose to hold a summer school at Kenyatta University focusing on statistical data analysis and data mining in astronomy. This will be achieved through lectures and hands-on exercises given by international experts. The target group is students at the MSc and PhD level from the East African region (Kenya, Burundi, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda) although students from across the world are also welcome. Building on what they learn at this workshop, East African students will be able to make valuable contributions to astrophysics with a minimum of hardware resources, by applying advanced data analysis and interrogation methods on modest computing resources to the numerous astronomical data sets which are publicly available. We believe that this will set an important foundation for the establishment of long term expertise in astronomy in East Africa. The main objective of this project is to transfer fundamental knowledge and skills in astronomy to postgraduate students in Kenya and the region. This will enable them to actively participate in international research projects as well as initiate research projects of their own, also in collaboration with international partners. Astronomy is a small field, and such international connections are essential if East African astronomy is to thrive and growhttp://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf1/summer-school-on-statistical-data-analysis-and-data-mining-in-astronomy/
academic exchange, capacity buildingSummer Visiting Program for Astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA)United StatesThe importance of mobility of scientists for their careers is unquestionable. However, for researchers from economically developing countries, visiting a world-renowned institution is something they can only dream of, not because of lack of talent or ambition, but because of lack of opportunities and gateways. We propose a pilot program in which astronomers from economically developing countries can apply to spend a month in the summer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA). Scientists from economically developing countries worldwide can apply for this opportunity. In their application, they have to present a work plan and outline the benefits of their visit for the continuation of their career and the development of astronomy back in their home country. In a pilot program, two visiting scientists will be selected for the summer of 2015. We foresee mutual benefit from such a visiting program for both the visiting scientist and the CfA scientists and staff, who will have the opportunity to learn from the visitors about the status of astronomy in their countries. From such visits lasting collaborations can grow that open up increasing exchange in knowledge, contribution to education (e.g., workshops/schools later organized in the country of the visitor), and increased integration, all high priorities for the International Astronomical Union and its Office of Astronomy for Development.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf1/summer-visiting-program-for-astronomers-at-the-harvard-smithsonian-center-for-astrophysics-cfa/
infrastructure/instrumentationTARA- Fergusson College NodeIndiaFergusson College has been actively engaged in science popularization in Astronomy and Astrophysics for the past 18 years with simple and limited facilities. Recently, the Inter University Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics IUCAA, Pune has officially acknowledged us with a IUCAA Node for Astronomy and Astrophysics Development i.e. INAAD center for further popularization of the subject among undergraduates. The Physics Department also has Astronomy and Astrophysics as an elective subject at Undergraduate and Post graduate level. Presently we are involved in setting up an observatory as we already have a 9.25 inch Celestron with go to facility. We have procured grants for purchase of Photometer, CCD and a Solar Telescope. The Cork Institute of Technology, Ireland, recently visited the college for possibilities of a collaborative project in setting up a Robotic Telescope using the existing facility. They have a robotic telescope operating at Cork and California, US which are linked. The TARA Fergusson College node will thus allow students to carry out projects and research in various disciplines using the setup for remote observations. The node would also let students and teachers use this telescope for live observing sessions as well as scheduled observations. Further, the difference in time zones between USA, Ireland, India is also ideal for day time astronomy "“ Solar studies. An integral part of the project will also be the implementation of a public outreach scheme to allow schools and other colleges to utilize the robotic telescope system as a learning and inspirational tool. Students will learn remote observation techniques and carry out remote observations. The TARA node will provide a unique opportunity for college students, in India, Ireland and USA to perform observations, manually as well as remotely and to stimulate interest in Physics, Electronics&Astronomy/Astrophysics.http://www.bco.ie/tara/the-story-of-tara/http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf1/tara-observatory-node/
education, outreach, awarenessThe Travelling TelescopeKenyaTo promote science learning to a wide range of Kenyan schools in various locations exchanging knowledge about the sky through direct observations of celestial bodies using state of the art telescopes. In addition to direct observing we also teach science using various hands-on activities and astronomy software, ideal for explaining concepts which are hard to understand, and for a better grasp of the sights visible through the telescope. Hands- on Universe Africa is dedicated to promoting science using astronomy especially in schools, targeting children from as young as 3 years to the youth, teachers, their parents and members of the public. The telescope has been around for more than 400 years, and through good use of it scientists have made many astonishing discoveries and begun to understand our place in the universe. Most people, however, have never looked through one. Yet it is a great tool for cool science and observation especially in a continent and country with beautifully dark skies. The Travelling Telescope project aims to invite people outside under the stars to learn about those curious lights in the sky.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf2/the-travelling-telescope/
capacity building, university-levelTime Variability in Modern AstrophysicsThailandWe plan to organize a workshop aimed at astronomers of all levels, who wish to improve their skills in specilized subjects of observation and data reduction. The primary target will be young researchers from South-East Asian countries, who will learn during NIATW how to use instrumentation of a level not readily available elsewhere in the region, and find opportunities to initiate know-how and collaboration links. This NIATW will be the first of a series of such workshops, that NARIT aspires to organize as part of its strategy to become a leading astronomical institution in South-East Asia, and to provide resources and support for the development of astronomy in the region (eg, NARIT hosts the Regional Node of the OAD for South-East Asia). The first NIATW will be themed "Time Variability in Modern Astrophysics" and will make use of the newly inaugurated 2.4m Thai National Telescope to address a number of phenomena subject to time variability. The combination of: telescope size (sufficiently powerful but not yet subject to an excessive pressure factor), geographical location (South-East Asia does not have any comparable facility, and this longitude range is in general poorly covered), instrumentation (including fast and very fast photometry to rates not available elsewhere in the region) makes the TNT an ideal site for such a workshop. We also stress that the event will be in the local "dry season" with a high chance of clear skies. We plan to schedule the NIATW a few months after the ISYA (International School for Young Astronomers, also hosted by NARIT in Nov-Dec 2014) so that in fact we may attract some of the ISYA participants to come back and continue observations in the context of NIATW. Thailand offers the opportunity to easily bring together researchers from many countries, at a moderate cost, in a friendly environment and pleasant climate.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf1/time-variability-in-modern-astrophysics/
NAUS National Park Service Night Skies InternshipNAThe United States National Park Service (NPS) aims to create an internship for a current astronomy student or recent astronomy graduate to develop their leadership in astronomy communication while simultaneously enhancing the public outreach programs of the parks. Over the course three months, the intern will collaborate with 1-3 National Parks, leading astronomy outreach programs and acting as an astronomy liaison for the park interpretive rangers and astronomy volunteers. In this time, the intern will contribute their knowledge of astronomy with park staff, while learning the interpretive philosophies of NPS. The internship will conclude with up to one month of collaboration at the NPS Night Skies Division at their headquarters in Fort Collins, Colorado, where the intern will assist with special projects at the national level. This internship will serve as a pilot project for a larger initiative to link astronomy, physics, planetary science and cultural astronomy majors and graduates to public lands. Dark night skies are an increasingly rare part of our national heritage, and through this internship we aim to connect astronomy students and the public with this valuable resource. The NPS may have the largest public astronomy effort of any other organization in the United States. An estimated 400,000 "“ 600,000 visitors annually participate in astronomy-related presentations, including ranger talks, telescope viewing, and other interactive programs. Since 2009 the NPS Night Skies Team has grown in coordination and support of these events, and park managers are finding that such programs are increasingly in high demand. The extensive scope of our outreach and the continued growth of these programs necessitates the implementation of structures that will help advance the quality of these programs. The NPS Night Skies Internship Program will address this concern while simultaneously allowing for the growth of scientific communication skills of a young astronomer.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf3/us-national-park-service-night-skies-internship/
citizen science, healthAccessible Citizen Science for the Developing WorldKenyaThe Zooniverse (http://www.zooniverse.org) has excelled at producing engaging, high-quality citizen science websites that produce peer-reviewed scientific research, especially in astronomy (http://www.zooniverse.org/publications). Our teams work predominantly in the USA and UK and the majority of our 860,000-strong volunteers are situated in the Western world, mostly Western Europe, North America and Australia. Our sites rely on volunteers interacting with rich visual data in the web browser, that often requires websites that are sometimes megabytes in size. Zooniverse websites rely on users participating through modern web browsers on broadband-speed, home internet connections. We propose to create a low-bandwidth, multi-lingual citizen science project, to be selected in 2014 from the Zooniverse's open proposal system, based on its suitability for the goals of the project and its scientific merit. A call for projects should be made in advance, in coordination with the IAU Office of Astronomy for Development. With the Zooniverse's high standards for research and design, the aim is to build a project that stands alongside existing sites such as Galaxy Zoo, Planet Hunters and the Milky Way Project. The infrastructure and expertise in the Zooniverse's growing web development team will support a developer in building a new citizen science website aimed at the developing world and optimised for low-bandwidth use. It will also act as a focal point in advancing Zooniverse efforts to provide projects in multiple languages and create connections with astronomers in developing countries. This project will act as a pathfinder for the Zooniverse, allowing the development of new tools for the delivery of responsive websites. The techniques created in the development of this project will then be evaluated and integrated into the Zooniverse platform. This will allow the Zooniverse to deliver a better experience for more users around the world in the future.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf3/citizen-science-developing/
NAAstronomy Skits for Secondary School Science EducationNAAt the 2013 INSAP VIII Conference on "The Inspiration of Astronomical Phenomena," co-authors and Co-Founders of The Human Sentience Project©, Margaret Boone Rappaport, PhD, an anthropologist, and Christopher J. Corbally, PhD, an astronomer, performed two costumed Astronomy Skits to a warm response at the Hayden Planetarium in NYC [see image at http://preview.margaretrappaport.vpweb.com/default.html?alt_id=H6DTX-92A94-4O3&ts=1377785252696%5D. This proposal requests €1000 to build upon that success. We propose the development of a third skit in the same Development Area of "Supernovae," a skit entitled, "How Serendipity Leads to Theory: "The A.D. 2054 Eta Carinae Supernova." Planned Development Areas are: (1) Supernovae, (2) the Milky Way, (3) Planets & Exoplanets, and (4) Stars Galaxies. There will be 3 Astronomy Skits in each area, totaling 12. IAU deliverables for this project include 3 Astronomy Skit Packages (two for skits already developed, including "The Appearance of a Guest Star of A.D. 1054" and "The Cassiopean Supernova of A.D. 3054, or, Good News Travels Fast," plus the skit to be developed here. Each Astronomy Skit Package includes: (1) a script with stage directions, (2) keywords for definition before the skit, (3) suggestions for inexpensive costumes or props, (4) the science, history, and culture behind each skit (5) discussion questions for after the skit, and (6) evaluation forms for students and teachers. English and Spanish versions will be delivered, with plans to produce all 12 Astronomy Skits in Portuguese and French, as well. The English versions will be performed for a Tucson high school, and evaluated by teachers and both science and humanities students. Results of the evaluation will be important in refining skits already performed, and developing future Astronomy Skit productions, for wide distribution in a single book-length volume. Proceeds from sales will allow the Astronomy Skit project to be self-sustaining.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf2/astronomy-skits/
outreach, awarenessAstroPartyBulgariaAsrtoparty is held every year and its ninth edition was held in this year. The first Astroparty was held in 2005, when it was organized at regional level, but in this year its range has became wider.More and more people show interest in that party. Owing to it a lot of new Astronomy clubs are built up at regional level; the party itself rouses interest in Astronomy as a science and as a subject in school as well. When taking part in the party students get more skills both in theory itself and in making watching experiments of space. They learn how to analize and describe such experiments. These activities are not held at schools competitions in Astronomy. Astroparty contributes to the development of the regional and national policy of the Municipality of Dolna Mitropolia, the Pleven region and Bulgaria.It makes extra-curricular activities more attractive to students and makes the landmarks by the Danube riverside more popular in the region. It's included in National calendar for extracurricular activities of Minisrty of education and science for sixth year. Organizers: Ministry of education and science, National palace of children, Regional Centre of Ministry of Education "“ Pleven, Municipality of Dolna Mitropolia and Municipal center for extracurricular activities "“ Baykal village. Astroparty Baykal is supported by Mrs Polya Tsonovska, the municipality,s mayor. Partners: Sofia University- Department of astronomy, Institute of Astronomy, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences,Bulgarian Astronomical Society, Public observatory with planetarium"N.Copernicus"-Varna, Astronomical Association "“ Sofia; International partners: European Association for Astronomy Education/EAAE/, Galileo Teacher Training Program/GTTP/ Work, style and methods: innovation methods, team work, workshop, hands on activities students that proved to be good in Astronomy teach their classmates beginners. A variety of practical activities and education with regard to Ecology are alhttp://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf2/astro-party/
communication training, media, onlineCommunication and (social) media skills for young astronomersonlineFollowing the favourable outcome of the SKA bid for Africa, there is a new focus on astronomy across the continent. This is further supported by the development of the African VLBI Network (AVN). Newly established SKA SA research chairs in South Africa are attracting postgraduate students from all over Africa, while some are already involved in post-doctoral work and early career research. Astronomy courses are also taking off in SKA partner countries across Africa. As in other fields of science, astronomers are under pressure to sustain public and political support for their discipline. Instead of asking whether they have the time or interest to engage public and policy audiences in their word, scientists are now realising that they can no longer afford NOT do to it. It is therefore essential to equip young astronomers with the confidence and skills to engage a wide range of audiences, from young children to senior politicians, successfully. They will play a key role in sharing the inspirational value of astronomy and the bright future of this field with the rest of the continent's people and youth. This proposal seeks funding for the development and delivery of a three-day course focused on the challenges and opportunities of communicating astronomy, astrophysics and related engineering fields. The course will include training on how to deliver engaging popular talks ("Famelab" style) and how to write popular articles and blogs; as well as hands-on skills on how to prepare for and conduct radio, television and print media interviews. Delegates will also learn how they can package their research for maximum media appeal and how to use a range of social media platforms to engage new audiences. They will be introduced to innovative ways of sharing science via theatre, science cafés, music, etc. Case studies and evidence from successful astronomy communicators will provide an interactive component and role models. Delegates will also learn how to integrate sciencehttp://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf3/young-astronomers-comm/
school-level, educationConduction of astronomical activities to motivate students in Public schools of NepalNepalDespite the favorable climatic and geographical conditions, research and development of the astronomy in Nepal is very limited. Nepal has to do lots of things to aware the astronomy for its development. To increase the astronomical awareness there should be activities in School. The school activities will aware not only to children but also to the school teachers in a practical way. If the school children are interested in astronomy they continue their study in astronomy. They conduct research and development in this field. Hence It has been believed that school education is very important to make foundation in the development of astronomy.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf2/nepal-activities/
outreach, awarenessCoordinating Astronomy for Public Outreach in Viet Nam (Phase 2): Uniting Amateur Astronomy Clubs and Bringing Astronomy to a Broader PublicVietnam The 2012 TF3 grant from IAU-OAD, in the recent years. The IAU-OAD TF3 funded project named "Coordinating Astronomy for Public Outreach in Viet Nam: Bringing Astronomy to Remote Areas" has blown the new winds to activities of Vietnamese amateur astronomy clubs: 10 outreach trips, in 08 different provinces/municipalities, are being on the way to final success, a new astronomical web portal for the all of Vietnamese astronomy enthusiasts is being carred out by the end of this year. Dozens of Vietnamese young amateur astronomers are happily joining hands to bring the space science tours to hundreds of students nationwide. The Vietnam outreach project is surely succeed with its commitments, and the project organisers are proud of being chosen by IAU-OAD, as the first beneficial country in the South East Asia region.It is the right time to make the next step, a continuous succesful extension: the phase two! There have been about 20 astronomical clubs/societies since the dawn of Internet in Vietnam. From online forum boxes to small-sized organisations, their members experience the changes of Vietnam science. However, because of the generation gap, the knowledge disparity, the far distance, the lack of communications, the differences in operation, and other disadvantages have lead to the isolation of Vietnamese amateur astronomy. The clubs' lives usually gone with their predecessor leaders, and do not have good planning, investment in a middle/long term vision. The idea is to maintain activities of local astronomy clubs throughout the country, and organise a national-level meeting for all/most of them to unite into one network. We will inspire new initiatives, receive real feedback, and all are expected to act under a same flag, for the best effeciency in astronomical knowledge dissemination, and in potential astronomers incubation.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf3/vietnam-clubs/
media, awareness, documentaryDocumentary Series on Astronomy Research in IndiaIndiaAstronomy has developed from bare naked eye observations in the past to the use of the sophisticated instruments, like large telescopes, better imaging devices, satellite and space missions in the recent times. Research in the field of Astronomy requires large fraction of dedicated individuals to incorporate ideas and take the quest of understanding the universe to the next level. In the present scenario, lesser students are motivated to take up astronomy as a research option, the main reason being lack of awareness on the challenges offered in this field. The documentary series on Astronomy Research in India, aims to record and document the various aspects of research and development in the field of Astronomy, Astrophysics and Space Science in India and also highlight the facilities in terms of research laboratories, observatories and state of the art instrumentation. The documentary plans to create awareness and inspire students towards Astronomy research. It also intends to highlight the contribution of Astronomers, Astrophysicists and Space scientists in India who have contributed towards a new outlook of the Universe today. Through this project, we propose to create awareness by educating the masses specifically the student community, about the research work and facilitates provided by the premier Astronomy research institutes in the country.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf3/docu-research-india/
infrastructure/instrumentation, education, school-levelEducational telescope for each high school in MongoliaMongoliahttp://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf2/a-telescope-for-each-high-school-in-mongolia/
Other, onlineeScience Cafe: Building a global science communityonlineWe seek funds to provide 6 schools in developing nations the equipment necessary to participate in an eScience Cafe series created within the new Galileo Students Program (GSP "“ a child project of the the Galileo Teacher Training Program, GTTP). We also seek funds for evaluation. This program brings together youth astronomy groups via a website (galileostudents.org) and Google+. This global community will share in science lectures (at least 8 per year), collaborate on experiments and observing events (at least 6 per year), and participate in science-related contests (at least two per year). The 6 schools funded by this grant will receive web-conference systems and the supplies needed to participate. Our evaluation will determine the effectiveness of our programs and their ability to inspire kids to seek science content.To be effective, we are pooling resources across multiple teams. Lectures will be organized by CosmoQuest and built using Google Hangouts on Air. This kids targeted series will allow interaction with the speaker and between sites. Experiments and observations will be planned jointly by CosmoQuest, GTTP / GSP, and Astronomers without Borders (AWB), and will allow students to participate in shared experiences such as seeing equinox shadows from multiple locations. Science related contests will be organized by GTTP / GSP. The 6 sites selected to receive equipment via this grant have GTTP teacher-leaders to facilitate the formation of student groups. An additional 10 European schools are also committed to participating in this extracurricular program using their own resources. The technology used is scalable, and the program will be open to any student group that can be vouched for by a teacher, amateur astronomer, or other trustable individual. Using the evaluations from this first year, we will seek additional support for evaluation and expansion. Should funding not be available, this program can continue under volunteer leadership.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf2/escience-cafe/
teacher training, onlineE-Teacher Training: Taking astronomy to the Portuguese Speaking Countries communityonlineSupporting the philosophy of Galileo Teacher Training Program (http://www.galileoteachers.org/) an active and expanding legacy of the International Year of Astronomy and a program endorsed by IAU and UNESCO, the project "E-Teacher Training: Taking astronomy to the Portuguese Speaking Countries community" plans to train teacher trainers, the Galileo Ambassadors, through online teacher training workshops in the effective use of free astronomy tools, resources and in class activities, adapted to science curricula of countries in which Portuguese is the official language or has a strong social and cultural importance. The key framework of "E-Teacher Training: Taking astronomy to the Portuguese Speaking Countries community" is sustainability: by training teacher trainers, the program will adapt and deliver astronomy educational resources, orienting the training for its use, for an ultimate and effective delivery in classroom. By the end of the project all trainers attending the program are equipped to train other teachers in these methodologies, leveraging the work begun in the virtual workshops, continuing the legacy of this project in future: the future continuous training of other teachers on site by the new teachers trained in the program. Through astronomy exercises and cross-disciplinary resources the workshop delivered contents are already certified by other teaching communities around the world and this program will adapt them to each country specific science curricula and reach locations scarce in resources of their own, allowing them to have access to training that otherwise couldn't have. We will use the open course methodology and through already established partnerships have cutting edge resources for this purpose all for free. All sessions will be recorded and available for future use. With this project we hope to be taking steps in solving the fast growth of digital divide, empowering teachers on the use of user friendly tools as a first step.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf2/portuguese-e-teacher/
academic exchange, capacity building, university-levelInstitute Twinning between the University of Antioquia (Colombia) and the Leiden ObservatoryColombiaIn the context of the IAU Strategic Plan, and in parallel to the creation of an Andean Regional Office of Astronomy for Development (Andean ROAD), the Astronomy undergraduate program at the University of Antioquia (UofA) and the Leiden Observatory (LO) have successfully become twin institutions in 2013. This partnership has the specific goals of boosting the development and improving the quality of astronomy teaching and research at the UofA and other institutions in Andean region, by offering to the community an archive of open online courses at the advanced undergrad level, among other activities. In August 2013 two lecturers from Leiden visited the UdeA and taught advanced courses in astrophysics to an audience of at least 80 undergrads from several institutions, and to a broader audience through the live streaming and recording of the lectures, now available online. The courses were graded and successful students were given academic credits upon completion. Additionally, a joint LO-UdeA advisory committee has evaluated the structure and content of the courses offered at the UofA and the National Astronomical Observatory (OAN) in Bogotá, and provided advice on new courses and possible research fields on which the Andean students can carry on their thesis work. The resulting report is also available online. In connection with Task Force 3 activities, two public lectures with ~300 attendees were offered to the people of Medellín, and posted online to reach a broader audience in the region. With this proposal we are requesting funding for a continuation of this program, with the same structure and enhanced objectives, during 2014. Although we keep the twinning spirit of this proposal, we aim at reaching other institutions in Colombia and the Andean Region, through direct participation of their students, as well as replication of the courses and online posting of the lectures.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf1/colombia-twinning/
capacity building, university-levelJoint Exchange Development Initiative for AfricaNamibiaAstronomy has grown significantly in recent years and the amount of scientific data available online has exploded. Astronomers have been doing data mining for centuries, characterizing the known, assigning the new and discovering unknowns. These skills are more critical than ever especially with new facilities coming online. We are now entering a data intensive research era. Virtual observatories (VO) have been set up across the world and data are accessible publicly. Nowadays, one does not need to build an instrument to do astronomy, but rather to start with an idea, explore the internet world to gather as much information as possible and then solve or contribute to a problem. On the African continent, the access of data via the internet is still problematic but the future seems more promising, with new world class facilities coming up such as the SALT, HESS and SKA. However, there is a scarcity of trained astronomers to pass on the research philosophy and methodologies to others. The Joint Exchange Development Initiative (JEDI) is a concept to enhance development and education via direct transfer of skills and expertise in any specific field. It is an initiative to provide development via joint exchange among stakeholders. This is achieved by bringing stakeholders: students, postdocs and staffs together in an informal but intense research environment to tackle unsolved problems for e.g. in Astronomy. The JEDI has a very scalable concept. JEDI have been carried out among undergraduate students, postgraduate groups and very recently among staff scientists from all around the world through the SuperJEDI meeting in Mauritius in 2013. We propose to host JEDI workshops in Mauritius and Namibia for 2014.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf1/jedi-2014/
capacity building, university-levelLatin American School of Observational Astronomy 2014MexicoThere is great enthusiasm for astronomy in Latin America and even interest in developing small local observatories but, unfortunately, so far there are very few astronomers in these countries who can develop new talents. In collaboration with the Instituto Nacional de Astonomia, Optica y Electronica (INAOE), in 2007 members of the Astronomy Institute at the National University began a short course at our observatory in Tonanzintla dedicated to undergraduate-level students from these countries. The course was called the Escuela de Astronomia Observacional Centroamericana (Central American School of Observational Astronomy), and when it was later discovered that there was interest from other parts of Latin America, it was renamed the Latin American School of Observational Astronomy. Tonanzintla was chosen to take advantage of the National University's 1m telescope and, due to climate constraints, the three-week theoretical course with daily observational experience is offered only in the month of January. Professors from universities throughout Mexico are invited to give lectures and students observe nightly practicing the new techniques they have learned. Since its inception 54 students have taken the course and many are now in graduate courses throughout the world. The observational part of the course has been enriched by the acquisition of smaller telescopes, but it needs to be further expanded with additional telescopes so that students can work in smaller groups. Although the course is without cost for the students and we supply housing and food, the students are required to pay their own transportation to and from Mexico. Experience has shown that many participants often are unable to pay the airfare to Mexico and many have traveled here for days by bus. We feel that to attract more students, relate to the economical/educational needs of each country and to guide those who take the course, it is necessary for us to visit local universities.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf1/latin-america-school-of-observational-astronomy/
capacity buildingModern Astronomy: Science/Technology Transfer in the SEA-ROAD RegionThailandThe aim is to conduct a 2-day seminar in Chiang Mai, Thailand and on Doi Inthanon at the Thai Natiolnal Telescope to introduce about 30 senior secondary school students from the South-East Asia (SEA-ROAD) region to the ways in which astronomy can be used to enhance the socio-economic development of the region. In the process, the students will be exposed to the concepts and personal values of a co-operative and multidisciplinary vocational team effort required in achieving common scientific and engineering goals, and how these sometimes translate into innovative solutions that contribute towards socio-economic development. The students also will be exposed to the scientific methodology and engineering principles found in an observatory environment, in order to highlight possible career options and relevant tertiary training in astronomy.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf2/tech-transfer-searoad/
infrastructure/instrumentationNanotarium: The Most Inexpensive, Quality DIY Planetarium on EarthGlobalThis project is to test and further develop small, inexpensive planetarium projectors, "Nanotariums," to be made by astronomy educators and/or their students anywhere in the world. They feature educationally useful, single star field images that are projected using quality optics. They can project on any flat or curved surface at a scale useful for teaching small classes or demonstrating the night sky to small groups. Happily, they consume little power, so they can be run from a simple power adapter or even batteries. In an age of expensive, sophisticated, high-end digital planetariums, Nanotariums project a stunning star field at a fraction of the cost. Bright, high color-temperature LEDs and the ability to easily create digital star fields for laser cutting of gobo star plates make this possible. The budgetary goal is to create a basic planetarium projector for approximately $50 US in parts. An added bonus is that these projectors can eventually be offered as full or partial kits. The kits would include corollary information on the physics of optics and light on which the projectors depend. They can justifiably be termed a comprehensive DIY (Do It Yourself) STEM learning project, similar to those at Maker Faires. The proof of concept for this mini-projection system was tested at Columbia College Chicago's Summer 2013 informal ed program for high school students called Junior Research Scientists. This proposal hopes to take the projector one step further and to develop training materials and workshops for educators. These would be tested in Columbia's community outreach programs in Chicago, at the International Planetarium Society (IPS) meeting in Beijing 2014, and, hopefully, at the IAU meeting in Hawaii, 2015.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf3/nanotarium/
capacity building, university-levelRegional School on Astrophysical Data ReductionNepalTribhuvan University has been offered opportunity to carry out research work in A&A since 2006 at the Central Department of Physics (CDP), Kathmandu, Nepal. Till date 84 masters' thesis have been completed in the various areas of Astrophysics. About two dozen masters' theses are published in the Journals MNRAS, A&A, and Ap&SS. CDP has offered Ph.D. program in Astrophysics since 2010. At present, five students are involved in Ph.D. and 18 are doing work for their master's dissertation. The research areas are mainly galaxy evolution, ISM and dark energy. Additional Information is available in http://astronepal.webs.com. After completing masters' thesis, about 50% students go abroad (mostly USA) for the further study and research in A&A. The remaining students go to various colleges in Nepal to teach physics and astronomy at undergraduate level. They use to forget what they learned during masters' thesis because of their involvement in teaching. The aim of this school to group them and finally prepare them for Ph.D. project. In addition to these students, there are large number (more than 200) of masters' students majoring Astrophysics every year. Last year we had organized 4 days workshop NWAA2013 (For detail: http://www.astro4dev.org/category/tf1/nepal-workshop/). This workshop left a strong impact not only on participants, but also to the authorities of University as well as Government of Nepal. Because of the effective outcome of NWAA2013 (supported by IAU), recently our department has convinced Government of Nepal to support this particular area in the year 2014. We have decided to organize a regional workshop in order to provide an extensive learning environment to the participants of Nepal and neighboring countries. We will focus on database, data reduction and problem identification which is commonly used A&A research. Ultimately, a beginning of fruitful research collaboration is needed for the better future, in this region.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf1/nepal-data-school/
capacity buildingStarlight in the university lab 2014Nigeria, ZambiaThis application concerns the continuation (year 2) of an previously approved project. 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 into 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". The level is that of science students at an introductory astronomy course (1st or 2nd BSc), but can be adapted downwards as well as upwards. Astrolab is implemented at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel since 5 years. This project is a pilot one: it will first be developed in 2 partner universities, and after a test period of 3 years it could be implemented in various other universities.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf1/starlight-in-the-university-astrolab-phase-ii-2014/
capacity building, university-levelSustainment of the development of astrophysics in Vietnam at the Master/PhD level in the radio astronomy domainVietnamThe proposed project is to invite three foreign astronomers to spend a week in Hanoi (Vietnam) and give lectures and/or seminars on astrophysics, specifically in the field of radio astronomy. Two of these astronomers are presently thesis co-directors of two Vietnamese PhD students. The other is from China. The audience will consist of the VATLY staff, a small astrophysics laboratory in Hanoi, and Vietnamese astrophysicists and students from other universities in Ha Noi and Sai Gon. The audience would be of 10 to 20 participants ranging from Master level to PhD. The organisation will be taken care of by the VATLY staff. This project has two main goals: 1) to increase the knowledge and expertise of the Vietnamese radio astronomy community and to strengthen links both between themselves and with astronomers from abroad, both in the region and in Europe, in order to foster future collaborations. 2) to give the student the great opportunity to discuss face-to-face their current research in that field with experts in the field. The ultimate goal would be to establish firm collaborative links with foreign institutions, including those in which Vietnamese students are presently working for their PhD.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf1/vietnam-astrophysics/
capacity building, university-levelThe Fourth East-African Astronomy WorkshopRwandaThe series of workshops in Astronomy in East Africa began in 2009 during the International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009). The first workshop was held in November 2009 in Nairobi, Kenya and was supported largely by the International Astronomical Union/ Teaching for Astronomy Developement (IAU/TAD), Developing Astronomy Globally (DAG), SAAO, University of Nairobi and the International Science Programmes (ISP- Upsalla University). Most of the resource persons were largely drawn from outside the region, including USA and South Africa. The second workshop was held in February 2011 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, while the third workshop was held in November 2012 in Kampala, Uganda. The resource persons in both workshops were drawn from USA, IAU/OAD, SAAO, SA SKA, African VLBI network project and from the South African DST. The fourth workshop, being organized by the East African Astronomical Society (EAAS) is scheduled in May 2014 at Kigali-Rwanda. The purpose of these workshops is to strengthen capacity building in Astronomy and Astrophysics and Space Science in general and also provide a forum for astronomers from the region to train young and upcoming scientists. It provides an opportunity for exchange of ideas, cross border co-supervision and sharing of resources. There already exists a Bachelor's degree programme in Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Nairobi, Kenya and a number of other universities in the region are in the process of curriculum development of the same. The Ethiopian Space Science Society is building two 1-m class optical telescopes at Entoto Observatory near Addis Ababa. There is also a project to transform old telecom dishes into radioastronomy antennas to make a strong VLBI African network. None of the individual countries have enough manpower or the resources to run programmes in astronomy on their own and this calls for networking and sharing of expertise to teach and supervise students across East Africa.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf1/4th-east-african-workshop/
outreach, awarenessThe UNAWE-UNESCO-Mobil I for Central AmericaCentral AmericaThe Universe Awareness programme (UNAWE) is a programme endorsed by the IAU and the UNESCO aiming to inspire young disadvantaged children and stimulate their interest in science and technology, in culture and global citizenship through astronomy. Actually there are 57 countries affiliated to UNAWE. The goal of this proposal is to bring UNAWE to five Central American countries still lacking the programme (El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica y Panamá) and reinforce the UNAWE activities in Guatemala. Following the expansion and implementation of the UNAWE-programme in Venezuela, this will be achieved through the network of schools associated to the UNESCO in those countries. We will visit together with the national UNESCO-coordinators at least two schools per country on board of a UNAWE-UNESCO-mobil carrying the UNAWE-"Universe at the Box", other UNAWE-materials (from Spain), self developed educational materials and telescopes. Our activities will have a duration of one week per school, and will be centered on direct activities with the children, teacher trainings (with the assistance of the UNESCO-national coordinators), and public events. After each training the teachers will receive binoculars, a small telescope and visual material (posters) to create astronomy clubs at their schools. Throughout the Moon will be the thread from which will start to explore the night sky. It will also be the object that will allow to gain insights into the multiple cultural identities, which in turn will be enriched by the exchange of "video cards" on the moon between children from different regions of Central America. A long lasting impact will be guaranteed by building up a UNAWE-Network within the UNESCO-schools of these countries supported by the national UNESCO-coordinators, the educational ministries, and local amateur and professional astronomers. For the whole proyect we have received already the endorsement of the UNESCO-Office for Latin America and the Caribic.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf2/unawe-unesco-mobil/
school-levelThe Universe - our home full of wondersPolandThis project is a result of cooperation between science centre Innovation Centre Mill of Knowledge and New Space Foundation. Both parties are active on local level (Toruń, kujawsko-pomorskie region) and have been realizing projects and initiatives addressed to children, promoting astronomy and space technology. These projects were successful but on a local scale and targeted to groups of regular youngsters. However, in Poland such projects are necessary not only in cities like Toruń (circ. 200 000 residents) but mostly in small towns and villages. In these locations, children have much fewer opportunities to learn more about astronomy than the basics presented to them in schools. In most schools teachers don't have funds, sometimes skills to conduct science projects or hands-on activities. Therefore, very early children are introduced to very strong stereotypes "“ science is theoretical, difficult and boring, In result, in small local communities in Poland level of science illiteracy is appallingly high, requiring quick and effective action. For this reason, both organizations decided to join forces and create join pilot project, acting on level higher that before. This project includes not only set of workshops carried out for children with fewer opportunities to introduce them to astronomy. The focal point will be implementation of set of effective, confirmed tools to teachers and caretakers, who will be able to use the results with new groups of children, long after the project is finished,. The pilot character of this initiative was included to reach short-term goals on regional level, but also include long-term result: dissemination of materials (scipts, notes, translations of UNAWE materials to Polish) to be used all over region and all over Poland.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf2/universe-wonders/
capacity buildingTraining of Policy Makers in EthiopiaEthiopiaAstronomy is one of the best exciting subjects that can be used to teach science education and convey scientific methods for children at primary school and public as whole. In order to keep astronomy and space science program for sustainable manner, policy makers must aware and know the use of astronomy and space science and its application for sustainable socioeconomic development. ESSS has been done many jobs to raise public awareness in Ethiopia for the last eight years and the government and universities have already started the program in astronomy. The public and policy makers interest are increasing from time to time in Ethiopia. By taking this opportunity, the policy makers awareness training program is organized in such away to enhance the policy makers basic understanding and knowledge of importance of astronomy, and space science for sustainable development, to push policy makers to include astronomy and space science into national policy program , to avoid misunderstanding of astronomy and space science, to involve higher officials for the development of science and technology as main agenda in Africa, to assure the political visibility for the development of astronomy in Ethiopia.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf3/ethiopia-policy/
capacity building, university-levelWest African International Summer School for Young Astronomers 2014NigeriaThe NASRDA Centre for Basic Space Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka in collaboration with the Dunlap Institute at the University of Toronto, the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (CITA) and Institute for Science and Engineer Educators' (ISEE) at the University of California, Santa Cruz will organize an introductory summer school in astronomy for undergraduate science students in West Africa. This is the second year the summer school will be held. Currently, we are in the final planning stages for a summer school to be held October 21-25, 2013, and are seeking funds to continue the project in 2014. Unlike similar schools, which focus just on scientific content, WAISSYA will combine lectures given by Nigerian faculty with interactive problem solving sessions and innovative, inquiry-based activities led by graduate student and postdoctoral fellow instructors from the University of Toronto. In inquiry-based teaching, students learn science concepts and skills by mimicking authentic scientific research, generally via a facilitated exploration of real data that is guided by the students' own questions. Inquiry teaching methods have been shown by science education research to give students a deep, lasting understanding of the material covered in the school, rather than just a shallow overview, and to promote students' scientific skills and self-identity as scientists (see references below). We will use a practice known as "backwards design" "” that is, establishing our learning goals and assessment metrics first, and then creating activities that will help students meet those goals. This means that assessment will remain a critical component throughout the activity, so that we can monitor how well our interventions work, both during and after the school.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf1/west-africa-school/
education, outreach, awarenessYunnan Minority Regions Astronomical Popularization Footprint Map PlanChinaYunnan 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.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf3/yunnan-popularization/
academic exchange, capacity building(Re-)integration of DPRK astronomers in the international research communityDPRK, ChinaThe most pressing need for the development of professional astronomy in the DPRK is professional training. In this context, we propose to initiate an exchange and training programme between Pyongyang Astronomical Observatory (PAO) and counterparts in China and eventually Europe, monitored by the East Asian node of the Office of Astronomy for Development. PAO representatives have already reached agreement in principle to send junior researchers (postdocs or junior faculty members) to the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC) and the Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics (KIAA) at Peking University, both in Beijing. We request funding to enable two junior researchers, selected by PAO, to spend one year in China, where they will be immersed in scientific research (and training) at an internationally competitive level. Upon their return to the DPRK, they will act as mentors to their colleagues there. In addition, during the year-long exchange visit, we anticipate that the junior researchers from the DPRK will be actively involved in research projects at the host institutes, which will eventually lead to publications in the international peer- reviewed literature. We also seek travel funding for visits of DPRK students and researchers to institutes outside Asia, once suitable host organisations have been identified.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf1/dprk/
inclusion, tactile resources, visually impairedAn astronomical kit for the visually impairedSpain, severalThe goal is to develop a kit with different astronomical activities to help communicators and teachers in reaching children with visual impairments. The kit will consist of: (a) "The sky in your hands", a planetarium program with original soundtrack in various languages, and a half-sphere with constellations engraved in it, (b) a booklet of activities to be carried out with the planetarium half-sphere, (c) a tactile 3D Moon specially designed for the visually impaired, along with a booklet of Moon activities, (d) one set of the FETTU braille sheets with an activity guide, and (e) a book on tactile astronomy. The kit will be sent to developing countries through the Universe Awerness (UNAWE), Astronomers without Borders (AWB) and Global Hands-On Universe (GHOU) networks of national points of contact in those regions or countries. Depending on the amount of funding available, we are planning to send initially 10 kits to Asia, 10 to Africa and 8 to Southamerica. Another 2 will be carried around by the Galileo Mobile project to difficult to reach regions of the world.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf2/visually-impaired
art and astronomy, awarenessAstronomÃia Periferica (Peripheral Astronomy)ColombiaAstronomía Periférica is a project aimed at bringing the poetic force of astronomy into the periphery of Latin-American cities. Our tools are art, design and science. The project is embodied in three interdependent activities with one common concept: observation. Our target public are those who do not have immediate access to the established centers of astronomical knowledge (museums, universities, planetariums.) The hierarchical transmission of knowledge is a hurdle in stimulating people into taking responsibility for exploring, understanding and challenging the world we live in. These hierarchies are promoted by the academic and scientific establishment. Through a more open-ended process and without explicit knowledge hierarchies, artistic experimentation offers a way to overcome this problem. Another caveat with traditional outreach activities is the limited scope of the target population. It leaves out the people without time, physical and cultural resources to visit the knowledge centers (school, museum, planetarium). The artistic experience is a medium to lower that barrier and engage people, making them feel part of a world that often sends the opposite message by excluding them from knowledge circuits. The core team behind Astronomía Periférica is composed by two artists (Luis Bustamante and Alejandro Tamayo) and one astrophysicist (Jaime Forero-Romero). Each member will take the lead of a different activity, while keeping a collaborative edge through the project. The working titles of the three activities in Astronomia Periferica are: "˜Beyond Satelistica', "˜Macrocosmos and Domestic Microcosmos' and "˜Notebook Universe' "˜Satelistica' (led by Luis) deals with sonorizations and visualizations of satellite observations; "˜Macrocosmos and Domestic Microcosmos' (led by Alejandro) uses household items to create sculptures that remind us that we live in a rotating planet travelling a great speeds through the Universe; "˜Notebook Universe' (led by Jaime) is a long year project that focuses on amateur drawing of naked eye and small telescope observations. We will implement the project in Bogotá, Colombia, using a setup that could be useful in other similar Latin-American cities such as Medellín, Quito, Lima or Caracas. Astronomia Periferica will take place during the year 2013. The project will be hosted by Universidad de los Andes. Additional support and advice will be provided by external team members: Lucia Ayala (art historian), Javier Moreno (mathematician and writer), Manuel Santana (artist), Pilar Becerra (astronomy outreach expert); and institutions: Museo de la Ciencia y el Juego (Museum for Science and Play) and the Observatorio Astronomico Nacional.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf3/astronomia-periferica
school-level, educationAstronomical measurements in Ancient GreeceGreeceAlthough it is not widely known to students and the public, the ancient Greek philosophers had made a number of accurate astronomical measurements and created successful models in an effort to describe the wonders of the Cosmos. With the power of the human mind they carried out reasonable estimates of the sizes of the earth, the moon and the sun and the distances of the sun and moon from the earth. This project's aim is two-fold. Firstly it aims at bringing this knowledge to the secondary education students, who, by carrying out these measurements, will appreciate how an innovative mind can explore the universe from our little planet. The students will carry on exploring the universe beyond the earth, moon and sun and by analysing their observations will evolve their knowledge on the universe and change any alternative ideas held to the scientific accepted ones. Secondly, it is this project's aim to support these students in reaching out the community and spreading this knowledge to the public so that everyone can realize that the cosmos is not far out of reach but is within everybody's grasp to explore it even from their own backyard, as the Ancient Greek astronomers did. The first goal will be accomplished by incorporating the project in the context of the Spring Term course of the Greek curriculum called "Project" of the 16-year-old secondary students. Within this course the students will learn the fundamental elements of earth and sky motion, will restore any misconceptions inherited by their surroundings, will carry out the aforementioned measurements and will make observations of the sun at normal class hours and sky observations at evening sessions. The second aim will be accomplished by supporting these students along with invited university experts to present their techniques and findings at a series of public lectures and workshops to the students of the other schools of the district and the local community during the local cultural festivities in the summer of 2013. Astronomy project classes will continue in the Fall Term 2013 when the students will expand their knowledge beyond the local neighbourhood by carrying out observations and astrophotography of the wonders of the Cosmos around us. All the project's actions will be disseminated to the world via a special area in the school's web site thus producing a legacy of astronomical observations for the next generations. http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf2/ancient-greece
health, inspirationAstronomy for Extremely ill or Traumatically Injured Children and Their FamiliesUnited StatesThe purpose of this grant is to provide funding to provide telescope observations and astronomy demonstrations for children, their siblings, and adult family members staying at the Ronald McDonald Houses of Chicagoland (RMH-Chicago) in conjunction the children's surgery and medical treatments at nearby hospitals. The project will provide an educational out-of-this world diversion from the stress of being sick or of having a sick family member hospitalized. The grant will also test the effectiveness of this project prior to the submisison of a large-scale grant for multiple RMHs. The RMHs are a "home away from home" for families of critically ill or traumatically injured children undergoing medical treatment in nearby hospitals. The RMHs provide a comfortable, supportive alternative atmosphere to expensive hotels where family members can sleep, eat, relax and find support from other families in similar situations. Families are kept united at a time when mutual support is often as critical as the medical treatment itself. The ill children and their families may stay for a few days but some will stay for months because of chemotherapy, dialysis, or rehabilitative therapy. There are now 250 RMHs in the US and 60 in other countries. The telescope observations and hands-on astronomy demonstrations will provide a unique family learning experience. Innovative edible demonstrations using chocolate, marshmallows, and popcorn will be used to present astronomy and space science concepts to enhance learning and achieve a greater educational impact. The program includes activities specially designed for ages ranging from elementary school to high school along with the adult family members. Because the families come from across the US, they will be given information about local science museums, and local astronomy clubs (with free or low-cost memberships). Astronomical demonstrations will be conducted using telescope observations of the Sun, Moon, planets, stars, and nebulae in conjunction with astronomical demonstrations and family activities. An imager will be used so the children can take their own astronomical images. The activities include both daytime and nighttime activities and are designed for all weather and all ages. Galieloscope and IYA2009, ASP project Astro and ASP Family Astro activities will be used. The RMH-Chicago education staff will be trained to use: easy to operate go-to telescope to take advantage of clear weather and interesting celestial events; Stellarium to show the sky; Astronomy or Sky and Telescopes Magazine sites to find out about astronomical events; and demonstration materials. http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf3/ill-injured-children
capacity building, university-levelAstronomy lectures for university students and teachers in Accra, GhanaGhanaA workshop for astronomy development will be offered at the Planetarium in Accra to University students and teachers from all over Ghana and neighbouring countries "“ Burkina Faso, Senegal, Nigeria. The goal of the workshop is to bring together University students and international astronomy educators to promote and encourage the higher level study of Astronomy and make a contribution to taking it forward as part of the country's development in science and technology. Possible routes into higher studies and career paths will be discussed. This workshop will be an importnant step towards reducing the "knowledge gap" between students and researchers in this region and those in other parts of the world where highly-developed astronomy research facilities exist. This school will happen right after the week-long workshop for school teachers (twinned proposal that was submitted to TF2). Some participants for the university workshop (week 2) can attend the workshop for school teachers (week 1).http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf1/ghana-lectures
art and astronomy, awarenessChinese Ancient Poetry AstrophotographyChinaOur ancestors are closer to the night sky than we are. Celestial objects such as the Sun, the Moon, the milky way, star constellations and comets are mentioned in many Chinese ancient poems and stories. The sky nearly never changes. We see the same sky as Li Bai, a Chinese famous poet, did 1200 years ago. Chinese people were taught ancient poems when they were very young, but were never taught the astronomy in the poems. In fact, parents and teachers do not know about them. The project will take pictures of the night sky according to the Chinese famous ancient poems. However, the people who know the poems do not know astronomy and photography, and the people who know astronomy do not know the poems and photography, and so on. Therefore, the project will absorb people with different background to work together: Chinese literature teachers: select astronomical poetry; Astronomers: explain the selected poems; Photographers: take pictures according to the selected poetry. The artist and designers: give good ideas of getting beautiful pictures. The slogan of the project: Appreciate Chinese Poetry night sky! By the Autumn of 2014, 40 pictures with Chinese poetry photography will be: Showing on the Beijing Planetarium website which can be downloaded all over the world. These pictures will show the Chinese Culture Vision Sky. 2) Exhibited in Beijing Planetarium exhibition hall. 3) Used as examples to unites and inspire more people to provide different culture astronomic poems and astrophotography for next exhibition and website content all over the world.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf3/chinese-poetry/
outreach, awarenessCoordinating Astronomy for Public Outreach in Viet Nam: Bringing Astronomy to Remote AreasVietnamViet Nam is a developing country with the population of about 90 million people and it is on the heimat of economic development. However, astronomy is still not being much appreciated in Viet Nam. Therefor, this project has two fold objectives. First of all, we aim at building up a coherent, unique online website to coordinate activities of amateur astronomy clubs in Viet Nam and to spread out astronomical news, knowledge in a more organised way. Secondly, we aim at organising various observing nights and hands-on activities in remote provinces to increase awareness of people on astronomy. For the moment, there are several amateur astronomy clubs in Vietnam (see figure 1) but they are loosely connected. Currently, the internet domain http://www.vietastro.org is the most updated website in Viet Nam about astronomy, maintained by Ho Chi Minh City Amateur Astronomy Club (HAAC). It is providing astronomical knowledge and news in Vietnamese as well as becoming the official information portal of amateur astronomy activities held by local clubs and organisations in Viet Nam. With the help of OAD-IAU, we are targeting at becoming the main hub to coordinate amateur astronomy activities as well as to circulate information on the astronomical events, and developments of the country and of the whole world. Besides that, we also want to have this website to be translated into English to serve as a portal of Vietnamese amateur astronomers to the outer world. To achieve this goal, we will maintain two groups of amateur astronomers. One translation group to translate reports of amateur astronomy activities in Viet Nam into English and translate news, articles, and writings about astronomy in English into Vietnamese. The other one performs technical works to keep the website up to date and visually attractive to the public. Viet Nam has more than 330 square kilometres of land and is divided into 63 provinces and municipalities. However, most of scientific and cultural activities occur in the two largest cities: Ho Chi Minh City, and Ha Noi, the capital. Astronomy is not an exception. There are active clubs only in Ho Chi Minh City and Ha Noi, currently. We plan to publicise astronomy further to other provinces in 2013 if this proposal is accepted by delivering several hands-on activities such as: public observations, astrophotography, basic lectures.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf3/vietnam-outreach/
light pollution, awarenessDark Skies Outreach to Sub-Saharan AfricaAfricaWe propose to optimize and implement the successful Dark Sky Rangers/GLOBE at Night citizen scientist program in 12-15 sub-Saharan African countries. The GLOBE at Night program, hosted by the U.S. National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO), is an international citizen-science campaign to raise public awareness of the impact of light pollution. The worldwide campaign invites citizen- scientists to record the brightness of the night sky by visually matching the appearance of a constellation like Orion with star maps of progressively fainter stars or using meters to obtain more precise measurements. Measurements are submitted to a central website by paper, computer, or smart phone. From these data an interactive map of all worldwide observations is created. Every year, NOAO is adding more opportunities for participation by providing campaigns at different times of year and creating Web applications in different languages for smart phones. Over the past 7 years of 10-day campaigns, people in 115 countries have contributed over 83,000 measurements, making GLOBE at Night the most successful, light pollution citizen-science campaign to date. (See http://www.globeatnight.org for more information.) Sub-Saharan African countries have been dramatically under-represented in Globe at Night campaigns.The proposed effort will help address the lack of public dark sky awareness in these regions and, more importantly, tap into the inherent wonder of the night sky shared by all cultures to increase science awareness within these populations. To provide foundational activities for GLOBE at Night, NOAO developed the Dark Skies Rangers program during the International Year of Astronomy (2009). Dark Skies Rangers is a set of environmental/astronomy-based lesson plans for grades 3 through 12 that help students learn the importance of maintaining dark skies. The EPO group's expertise in developing teaching kits and instructional materials for schools, museums, and after- school programs helped create the suite of well-tested and evaluated hands-on, minds-on activities. The activities have children building star-brightness "readers," creating glow- in-the-dark tracings to visualize constellations, and role-playing confused sea turtles. They also create a model city with shielded lights to stop upward light, examine different kinds of bulbs for energy efficiency, and perform an outdoor lighting audit of their school or neighborhood. (See http://www.globeatnight.org/dsr/ for more information.) The proposed program includes an innovative series of Skype sessions for educators and students, a website for exchanges of ideas and student posters, a list-serve, well-vetted kits, an novel twinning program for additional Sky Quality Meters, and participation in the GLOBE at Night campaign.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf3/dark-skies-africa/
teacher trainingGalileo Teacher Training Program (GTTP) NepalNepalIn Nepal, astronomy is included in the school syllabus and a very few related contents are included in the higher level education. Teachers in the schools are the general science graduates, usually not experts in astronomy. It indicates the need of a teacher training event for the educators. Teachers are also the easy way of reaching hundreds of young kids and in a way to the society. We plan to invest our effort in teachers and in astronomy educators. GTTP has been organized in Nepal since 2010. Almost 60 teachers have got the opportunity in past. In 2013, the training event will be of two days including lectures, workshops and a night sky observation program. Speakers from the universities or from Nepal Astronomical Society (NASO) will be invited. Participants are invited from different schools from different regions of the country. Some travel supports will be available for needy participants. Science communicators are also welcomed in the event. We include the basic concepts of astronomy, some hands on activities, and a workshop on astronomy software in the event. An observation program will be organized at the end of the event day using 8" skywatcher telescope owned by Nepal Astronomical Society (NASO). At the end of the event, all the participants are expected to have clear concepts on basic astronomy topics and knowledge of hands on activities which can be carried out in classrooms. We also expect the participants to start using basic astronomy software in their class rooms and their knowledge to popularize astronomy/science in their community. http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf2/gttp-nepal
capacity building, university-levelGuatemalan School of AstrophysicsGuatemalaWe want to launch the GUAtemalan School of Astrophysics (GUASA), to be held in a rural area of Guatemala every two years. The school aims to bring together local Central American/Caribbean undergraduate students of physics/mathematics/engeneering, with experts from prestigious astronomical institutions from around the world. During each of its editions, we expect to cover a wide range of modern topics of astrophysics in order to motivate the students to pursue major degrees in astronomy elsewhere. We hope that this school will contribute to create a critical mass of professional astronomers/astrophysicists in the region along with the conditions needed for research, thus leading to the creation of strong astrophysics departments in the Universities of the region. In the future, after a few editions of GUASA, we hope to be able to include lecturers from the local academic community. As a complementary activity of every edition of GUASA, we also want to organize outreach activities for the general public, such as public lectures followed by observations using small telescopes. These activities we hope, will encourage children and teenagers to get closer to science and to continue their studies aiming for superior education.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf1/guatemala-school/
education, outreach, awarenessLimpopo Astronomy Public Outreach (LAPO)South AfricaLimpopo Astronomy Public Outreach will visit 13 venues in various towns in Limpopo Province over the course of a five month period (see point 9 for venues). An astronomy display during the course of the day and part of the evening consisting of the following will be setup. "Fossils, Light & Time", a visual display of cosmic and fossil history going back 2.1 billion years with a South African flavour. Consisting of 26 laminated A4 pages, portraying the impact of the Vredefort meteorite and ending present day with fossil history from the floods in Laingsburg. A selection of posters sourced from SAAO and SAASTA depicting the following: Our solar system, the electromagnetic spectrum, your place in the universe. These will be on display and also handed out. Various other astronomy related posters and material will also be on display. Please note that these posters have not been budgeted into this proposal as they are usually donated by the two organizations. Practical: Viewing the Sun and observing sunspots with a telescope and sun-filter. Will include handout material with facts and figures on the Sun on one side of A4 page. The reverse side will have information on the Moon. Solar system, facts and figures will include handout material as well as practical display of the size and distance to the planets. Information on viewable planets at the time will be included on the reverse side of the page. Stargazing evenings will include South African star-lore and the identification of some of the constellations that are visible as well as views through the telescope of some of the planets, stars and deepsky objects. Explanations of how stars and planets "move", the difference between them etc., will be discussed. A video camera attached to the telescope instead of the eyepiece will project onto a screen, real time images of what the telescope is pointing at. This is the perfect tool for astronomy outreach as large groups can be targeted. As an example, real time views of the Moon, Saturn, a double star or star-forming region in the sky is projected, with an explanation of what we are looking such as: Explanation of how and when the Moon was formed, why we see different phases, composition of Saturn's rings and the structure, show its moons including the largest one Titan, etc. etc. Open & Globular clusters: An explanation of these types of stellar groupings. Nebulae: An explanation of the various nebulae and much more.Short clips consisting of some current material such as the launching and landing of NASA's Curiosity on Mars, as well as material on the Space Shuttle and ISS and Apollo footage.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf3/limpopo-outreach/
teacher trainingMathare Ambassadors of AstronomyKenyaProject Mathare Ambassadors of Astronomy aims at promoting astronomy among primary school teachers and students in Mathare slum of Nairobi (Kenya) through improving their knowledge and skills, providing educational aids and creating the network of Mathare Ambassadors of Astronomy "“ a team of trained teachers capable of training their colleagues thus multiplying the outputs of the project. Mathare slum is a non-formal settlement characterised by high level of poverty, lack of proper infrastructure and poor sanitary conditions. Most of 80 primary schools located in the slum offer low quality education, especially in the field of science and astronomy. Since 2009 Partners Poland Foundation has been working to improve the quality of education by investing in teachers' skills and educational infrastructure. Trainings on practical science and astronomy organised in previous years, opening of two computer centres and science lab in Mathare will make it possible to carry out the project Mathare Ambassadors of Astronomy. The project will consist of 5 main activities: i. Mathare Ambassadors of Astronomy Training of Trainers At least 12 teachers already cooperating with Partners Poland Foundation will undergo intense and advanced training on astronomy and presentation skills to be able to transfer their knowledge and skills to other teachers from Mathare. ii. Introduction of Astronomy to Mathare Schools Trained Mathare Ambassadors of Astronomy will train at least 54 primary school teachers in Mathare on basics of practical astronomy and usage of galileoscopes. iii. Provision of astronomy educational aids At least 20 schools from Mathare will be provided with total of 35 galileoscopes and toolkit comprising of 10 lessons on practical astronomy that can be delivered in the classroom. Page 1 of 18 iv. Astronomy workshops in the classroom Both Mathare Ambassadors of Astronomy and their trainees will conduct practical astronomy lessons for at least 1500 primary school students in Mathare. v. Mathare Astronomy Exhibition A display of astronomy artefacts created during teachers' trainings and workshops for students (e.g. models of solar system, umbrella planetariums etc.) will be organised. The purpose of the exhibition is to Promote Interest for Astronomy for Astronomy among teachers, students and other members of Mathare community.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf2/kenya-ambassadors
capacity building, university-levelMENA Regional Summer School: "Astronomy with Small Telescopes" LebanonSmall telescopes are optimal for the developing world. They can be used for public outreach, education, and with the proper instrumentation, astronomical research. The MENA region holds many observatories and projects equipped with small telescopes. Lebanon's first small facility will be online late 2012. We, thus, plan to have a regional summer school on astronomy with small telescopes in late August 2013 in Lebanon. The school is intended for advanced physics students, and graduate students in physics and astronomy, It aims to show how small telescopes can be used in astronomical research. It will provide basic training on the use of small telescopes and present the science that is doable with such instruments. The capacity of the school will be 40 students. Instructors will be astronomers from Lebanon, the region, and from Europe and North America. The program of the school will assume the existence of a basic level in physics appropriate to advanced physics undergraduates, and minimal formal knowledge of astronomy. It will cover topics related to galaxies, stars, solar system objects, exoplanets, from the viewpoint of small telescopes. The school's lectures will be at a level accessible to advanced undergraduate students in physics.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/mena-regional-summer-school/
capacity building, university-levelNational Workshop on Astronomy & Astrophysics (NWAA2013), Kathmandu, NepalNepalThe Central Department of Physics, Tribhuvan University has been helping to bring the world of Astronomy & Astrophysics to interested Nepalese students since 2008 by offering Astrophysics as an elective course in the Master's level. No separate department or institute of A&A is established till date in Nepal. In spite of this, more than 250 M.Sc. (Physics) students have chosen "˜Astrophysics' as an elective paper. These students are studying in the eight different colleges all around the country. All these colleges are affiliated with Tribhuvan University. Till date 74 masters' thesis have been completed in Astrophysics. A few of masters' theses are published in the Journals MNRAS, A&A, and Ap&SS (detail below). At present, three graduates are involved in Ph.D. and 16 are doing research work for their master's thesis in the department. The research areas are galaxy evolution, dust structures around PNe, White Dwarfs and Pulsars, chirality of large scale structure, modeling galaxy rotation curve and observational work (16 inch Schmidt Telescope). Additional Information regarding publications, past and present on-going Ph.D. research and M.Sc. dissertation work are available in http://astronepal.webs.com. We also have a few experiences of collaborative work and organizing/hosting conferences in the various aspects of A&A in the past. Keeping aspiration of young students in mind, we have decided to organize a workshop in order to provide an extensive learning environment. We intend to provide an exposure to the virtual observatories, database, software and basic programming language which is commonly used in astrophysical research. Our aim is to make students familiar with the process of problem identification as well as problem solving procedure. The workshop is mainly for photometry and spectrometry. For this, we use the data available in the ADS/SIMBAD/NED/SkyView. We will focus on infrared and X-ray astronomy and use IRAS images and XMM Newton spectra using software AstroLinux, ALADIN and MATLAB (below for details). This workshop will be organized by the Central Department of Physics, Tribhuvan University in its premises at Kirtipur, Kathmandu during 14-18 April 2013 and supported by Ministry of S&T National Academy of S&T, Nepal Physical Society and Astrophysics and Cosmology Research Group. The purpose of this workshop is to bring together experienced as well as young students who are interested in working actively on various important aspects of Astronomy & Astrophysics using the data available in the internet.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf1/nepal-workshop/
teacher trainingNetwork for Astronomy School Education (NASE) AfricaSeveralAccording to the IAU Strategic Plan, the mission of the IAU in world astronomy development consists of stimulating the application of astronomy in all its forms as a benefit to society and humankind. The IAU has several projects which involve points Science Public Outreach, Tertiary education and Research. But NASE is a specific project for Secondary and Primary schools teachers. It is crucial to act before the university and research period in the curricula of children and teenagers. If the pupils have a positive contact with astronomy, they may decide to be astronomers, but it is very difficult to choose to study something which is not known to them. Astronomy should be more present in the school. It is necessary to educate teachers in astronomy topics. In general, there is astronomy in school curricula, but if teachers do not have available possibilities of the observatory, they probably will limit their astronomy lessons only to the contents of books in a very theoretical way. All schools in all the countries in the world have an "astronomy lab": this is the court of the school. The teachers with not enough instruction can use it. The courses and materials will be produced in the language of the country where we are working with teachers: English. NASE will organise two or three courses for secondary or primary school teachers in Centre or South America in cooperation with a Local Organising Committee (NASE GROUP) will have to organise the following editions every year. After the course, the NASE GROUP (group of 6-8 teachers) should be put together, in coordination with the NASE Programme can then continue organising other activities in the country (courses, seminars, festivals, performances, workshops and the basic NASE course too) every year in each country. NASE do not have contacts in Africa, we ask for OAD support to decide the countries that will be visited. In 2013 we plan to participate in several conferences and meeting in different countries in order to explain NASE programshttp://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf2/nase-africa/
capacity buildingStarlight in the university lab 2013Nigeria, ZambiaThe 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 into 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". The level is that of science students at an introductory astronomy course (1st or 2nd BSc), but can be adapted downwards as well as upwards. Astrolab is implemented at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel since 4 years. This project is a pilot one: it will first be developed in 2 partner universities, and after a test period of 3 years it could be implemented in various other universities.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf1/astrolab/
capacity buildingStrengthening Astronomy Resercah at University in Rwanda (Phase 1)RwandaDuring the year 2009, IAU donated 5 computers to help students and Lecturers to learn and use astronomy softwares. The computers run completely on linux. With these computers, KIE students have now a possibility to choose astronomy/space science for their undergraduate final year research projects. In order to make these computers more useful, a permanent astronomy research team is needed. In fact, as we have already entered in the era where Astronomy research can be done locally even in the developing countries using online data mining (some of these data are semi or completely reduced ). In order to make use of these data, there is a need to have a research team trained on various softwares for data reduction to ensure quality in data handling and interpretation. In addition, following the growing initiatives to build telescopes in East Africa e.g. the Entoto Optical observatory project (in Ethiopia) and the extension of the SKA radio dishes up to Kenya, research teams need to be introduced at universities to make use (for long term) of the data output of these infrastructures. In these regards, there will be opportunity to get data for our own planned objects. In this project (phase I), we intend to build an astrophysics research team in Rwanda. The phase II will consist at extending it to the whole region an build a pana-East-African multi-wavelength research team which will be able to reduce multi-wavelength photometric and spectroscopic data (Radio, Optical, X-ray, gamma-rays). In this phase ONE, we intend a two-week workshop in which we will invite visiting astronomers to train the members of the research team (Lecturers doing research in Astrophysics and related sciences in Rwanda) on the proper use of softwares of handling the data. Equal emphasis in the first phase will be also put in the consolidation of a theoretical background on the understanding and analysing the spectroscopic and photometric properties of stars and galaxies. These lectures will be allocated 2-3 hours every morning, the first week being on "stars and galaxies" and the second week being on extragalactic objects. The rest of the hours of the days will be allocated to introduce the available data and missions, study softwares e.g. IRAF, HEASOFT and other plotting data softwares like TOPCAT etc. Participation of astronomers of the region will be encouraged.http://www.astro4dev.org/blog/category/tf1/rwanda-research/