Astronomy for Children & Schools (TF2)

The task force on Astronomy for Children and Schools (TF2) drives activities related to using astronomy to inspire the very young and stimulate education, especially in Mathematics and Science. This task force looks at introducing astronomy in schools where there is little or no astronomy, and ensuring that the subject is used to positively influence the level of education development. Programmes for very young children, in the early childhood development stage, also falls within this task force. Examples of activities are educator training workshops; developing classroom resources; astronomy clubs in schools; etc.

Organizational Tasks:

  • To support OAD Regional Nodes Activities
  • To facilitate interactions between  pre-tertiary education stakeholders
  • To work closely with the relevant IAU Commissions
  • To support the OAD fundraising

Community management level tasks:

  • To provide a small (~2) number of core projects. The first being a global clearing-house of astronomy educational resources (Peer-review educational material journal )
  • To provide inputs to the OAD database of astronomy education contacts (teachers, informal educators, etc)
  • To prepare, plan and support the implementation of an Annual Astronomy Education Strategy with on-going global/regional educational activities, opportunities for educational collaborations and other relevant information.
  • To issue and manage a review committee for project proposals made to the OAD TF2 for endorsement and funding.
  • To deliver regular information (via OAD website, e-newsletter and social media, etc) about ongoing activities and opportunities, in astronomy education to volunteers, partner organizations and community

Volunteers are always needed. Please contact us or fill in the online form if you can contribute.

Members:

Cecilia Scorza (DE/VE) is an astronomer with experience in extragalactic research. Currently she works in the educational field at the House of Astronomy in Heidelberg where she develops didactical material and coordinates a German national node of schools. She is a board member of the international UNAWE programme and the EU UNAWE-coordinator in Germany.

Edward Gomez (Vice-chair – GB) is education director for Las Cumbres Observatory, which is building a global network of robotic telescopes for professionals and the public to use. He is particularly interested in using web technologies for inspiring and exciting children and the public to pursue astronomy investigations via the internet.

Linda Strubbe (CA/US) graduated from the California Institute of Technology in 2003 and UC Berkeley in 2011, and is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics in Toronto, Canada, where she studies massive black holes in galactic nuclei.  She has done astronomy outreach at home in California and Toronto, and abroad in Guatemala and South Africa, and is especially interested in using education research as a backbone for science education activities.

Ofodum Chukwujekwu Nworah (NG) is an optical astronomer and Head of Optical Astronomy Section of Centre for Basic Space Science-National Space Research & Development Agency (NASRDA) in Nigeria. He has been involved in many astronomy education programmes in Nigeria for the past eight years.

Pedro Russo (Chair – PT/NL) is the international project manager of Universe Awareness, an educational programme that uses the beauty and grandeur of the Universe to inspire young children and encourage them to develop an interest in science and technology.

Robert Hollow (AU) is an education specialist with CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science (CASS) in Sydney, Australia. With extensive background in teaching and curriculum design Robert runs the innovative PULSE@Parkes project giving high school students the opportunity to observe pulsars remotely with the Parkes radio telescope. He also runs teacher training in astronomy across Australia.

Rosa Doran (PT/BR) has studied black holes (theory and observation) and is now an astronomy educator for NUCLIO (Núcleo Interactivo de Astronomia), a non profit astronomy association promoting science public outreach for over 10 years, in Portugal and abroad. She is also the chair of the Galileo Teacher Training Programme, a legacy of IYA2009 having now reached 100 nations with over 15 000 teachers trained all over the world.

Rosa Maria Ros (ES) is an astronomer at the Technical University of Catalonia in Barcelona. She has over 30 years’ experience in educational Astronomy programs. Chair of Network for Astronomy School Education of IAU.

Tomita Akihiko (JP) has studied galaxies through mainly optical observations. His current work deals with training science teachers, and especially on kids’ activities at nursery schools.