Updates from OAD Regional Offices

Regional Offices Activities: April-June 2017

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Andean

Arab

East Africa

  • Alemiye Mamo has been assigned as the Acting Director of the East African ROAD

East Asia

  • EA-ROAD members in Beijing have been coordinating Understanding Science public outreach lectures on a wide-variety of topics (year-round)
  • The Yunnan members of EA-ROAD and the Chinese Language Center have organized and participated in public lectures, hands-on outreach activities, and fundraising activities at several primary schools and high schools in Zhaotong County, Yunnan, China. 
  • Thijs Kouwenhoven (XJTLU) gave a TEDx talk at Nanjing Pharmaceutical University (China) on how planetary science can can help us deepen our understanding how climate change and how it affects humanity.
  • Astronomy and space science lectures and hands-on activities at Qiannan Normal University for Minorities in Qiannan County, where the Chinese Five-Hundred-Meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) is located, as part of a regional development program. 
  • Workshop participation and lectures on using astronomy as a tool in STEM education and on how to improve the gender balance in science and engineering

Portuguese Language

  • Celebration of the astronomical observations of the total solar eclipse of 1919 took place in Roça Sundy, Príncipe. Students from elementary and secondary school participated in the Science Trail and in the sky observation. This activity was organized by the Astronomy Club of Príncipe’s Secondary School.
  • In the scope of “Noites no Observatório” from the Instituto de Astronomia e Ciências do Espaço in Lisbon a conference entitled “Máquinas de Caçar Platenas” (Machines to hunt planets) which had online transmission took place. 
  • In Brazil, Dra. Sandra Benítez Herrera presented the results of the research “Inclusão de Gênero pela Divulgação da Ciência: o Caso do Projeto Meninas no Museu de Astronomia e Ciências Afins”.  This monography is included in the specialization course “Divulgação da Ciência do Museu da Vida, Fiocruz”. For more information, please contact the researcher: sandraherrera@mast.br.
  • Dark Sky Rangers contest, organized by NUCLIO, received drawings and videos from students from Cape Verde, Portugal and Sao Tome and Príncipe. 
  • IDiverSE project was approved in the scope of ERASMUS+ Programme of the European Union. NUCLIO is the project’s coordinating partner. Islands in Brazil, Cape Verde, Sao Tome and Principe as well as Mozambique will participate as third partners in this project which aims to integrate interdisciplinary and collaborative inquiry, local culture, ethnoscience and personal geography to create Science Trails where students will explore their natural environment starting from the Water, continuing to the Land and ending with the Skies.
  • In September, from 7th to 9th, the Annual PLOAD meeting will take place in São Paulo, Brazil. First two days of this event will be a part of the Sociedade de Astronomia Brasileira’s annual meeting

South East Asia

South West and Central Asia

  • A UNESCO regional conference on the “Astronomical Heritage of the Middle East” to be held on 13-17 Nov 2017 in Yerevan, Armenia. Symposium is organized in the frame of AAC project (Archaeoastronomy and Astronomy in Culture)
  • Participation in International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA) interoperability meeting in Shanghai, China. Discussion of possible regional activities to promote VO ideology and technology through IVOA tutorials.
  • Participation of Areg Mickaelian and Sona Farmanyan in MEARIM-IV regional meeting and OAD/ROAD face-to-face meeting in Addis Ababa Ethiopia. 3 talks by Areg Mickaelian (including a plenary one) and 2 talks by Sona Farmanyan.
  • A seminar on “Astrobiology and Exoplanets” was organized in Yerevan, Armenia attached to Prof. Michel Mayor’s visit to Armenia, for development of interdisciplinary studies.
  • The biggest in the world science festival Starmus, in Trondheim, Norway, Trondheim, Norway, was attended by Areg Mickaelian and several other representatives (science promoters, journalists)

Southern Africa

  • SAROAD Steering Committee had a quarterly meeting on 23rd June 2017 at which budgets for 2017 and 2018 were presented, including the regional updated business plan. Final approvals are expected before end of this week, week ending 22 July 2017.
  • Preparations for the 2017 AstroLab worshop in Zimbabwe are progressing well. The website will be up soon where prospective participants can apply. The workshop will run from 6th November to 11th November 2017 at the National University of Science and Technology in Bulawayo. It will be followed by a GTTP training from 13-17 November 2017. Please visit the SAROAD website for upcoming updates

West Africa

  • West African ROAD coordinator, Bonaventure Okere, appointed as the Acting Director/ CEO of NASRDA-Centre for Basic Space Science, Nsukka, Nigeria
  • Hands on Basic Space Science Training for Primary and Secondary School Teachers (HBSST) held from June 1-3, 2017 at NASRDA-Centre for Basic Space Science and June 5-7, 2017 at River State University of Science and Technology in Nigeria
  • 2017 World Asteroid day Public Lecture was held on the 30th June, 2017 at NASRDA-Centre for Basic Space, Nsukka, Nigeria
  • Activities were carried out at Ghana Planetarium Science Centre, which is aimed at children and majority of adults, to improve the low level activities in science literacy and knowledge
  • West African International Summer School for Young Astronomers to be held from 31st July – 06 August 2017 in Accra, Ghana