Regional Offices Activities; October – December 2015

Andean Region

  • In June 2015, the Andean Cosmology School in Bogota, Colombia was held. They hosted 20 students from the Andean ROAD countries for a month with lecturers from Germany, Israel, US and Colombia. The School covered diverse topics on theory, simulations, observations and instrumentation relevant to Cosmology.
  • In July, the Andean ROAD organized the Second Workshop “Astronomia en los Andes” in Bogota with astronomers from Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile.
  • Task Force 2 is a growing a group of volunteers interested in reaching more students and teachers every year. They are using virtual meetings to motivate and train people.  So far they have focused on two projects: Erathostenes at school and Astronomy through senses (outreach for visually impaired people.)

Arab World and Arabic Language

  • The inauguration of the Arab Regional Office and Arabic Language Expertise Center was held on December 02 and 03, 2015 in Jordan, Amman. It was attended by representatives from many countries in the Arab world. Read the IAU Press Release on the event.
  • The Arab Regional Office and Arabic Language Expertise Centre is hosted by the Arab Union for Astronomy and Space Sciences and located at the United Nations Regional Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in Jordan.

East Africa

  • East African ROAD has been invited as a discussant in a science and technology conference
    jointly organized by the Ethiopian Ministry of Science and Technology, African Union
    Commission, Ethiopian universities and others
  • In collaboration with EORC, the ROAD offered scholarship opportunities for candidates from member countries and will soon choose two candidates from the applicants.

East Asia and Chinese Language

  • Jun Lin  (Yunnan Astronomical Observatory) has been appointed as the new Chinese LOAD coordinator.
  • The East Asian ROAD runs regular activities: monthly physics days at schools for children of migrant families (who have come to the cities from the countryside), as well as monthly science cafes   for the general public. Both activities are done under a joint umbrella with the UK Institute of Physics.
  • The steering committee member from Mongolia visited the office for a few days and discussed practical steps to set up a professional astronomy curriculum at the country’s main university.

Portuguese Language

  • Portuguese LOAD have enlarged the number of partners from Brazil and East Timor.
  • The host of the Portuguese LOAD, NUCLIO, signed an agreement with the Ministry of Education in Portugal to further collaboration and mutual support for science education projects, including PLOAD.

South East Asia

  • The host of the South East Asian ROAD, NARIT, is becoming a host for International Training Centre in Astronomy under the Auspices of UNESCO.
  • NARIT has initiated a program to commemorate HRH Princess Sirindorn by donating 10-inch reflecting telescopes to schools and universities in Lao PDR.

South West and Central Asia

  • SWA ROAD website was created with links to OAD and other ROADs/LOADs.
  • South West Asia Regional Workshop and inauguration of the Regional Office was organized
    on Oct 12-13, 2015 in Byurakan with participation of IAU and regional representatives (Armenia,
    Georgia, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Russia, and Turkey). The Armenian Iranian Astronomical Workshop
    was held on Oct 13-16, 2015 with participation of 25 Armenians, 15 Iranians, and representatives
    from Georgia and Arab countries.

Southern Africa

  • The Steering Committee of the SA ROAD has been appointed.
  • SA ROAD is discussing ways of collaborating in research and training with Prof. Catherine Cress’s team from the Centre for High Performance Computing at UWC.

West Africa

  • The West African Regional Office was inaugurated in Enugu, Nigeria on 25 November 2015. Read the IAU Press Release on the event.
  • The West African International Summer School for Young Astronomers (WAISSYA) took place in Nigeria in July 2015. Next WAISSYA will be held in 2017 in Ghana.
  • West African ROAD successfully organized an astronomy workshop for secondary and primary school teachers and students in Nigeria, in collaboration with Brian Sheen from Roseland Observatory, UK.
  • 26 students from Ghana are doing programmes in basic astronomy with collaboration between SKA, University of Leeds, UK, and GSSTI and is being supported by Royal Society, UK.
  • A planned survey of Astronomy and Space Science activities in the region is in progress. The survey questionnaire is in the final stages of preparation.