Final report

Astrolab Training Week (30th September – 4th October 2019)
National University of Science & Technology (NUST),
Bulawayo, Republic of Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is making her nascent steps into the world of space exploration via the newly established Zimbabwe National Geospatial and Space Agency (ZINGSA), and given these circumstances, NUST seeks to be a pioneer and a leader of the Science of Astronomy and Astrophysics in Zimbabwe. To that end, NUST is currently offering Astronomy and Astrophysics in its B.Sc. (Hons) Applied Physics degree programme. This course is offered, since two years, as an Elective in the final and forth year of the B.Sc. (Hons) Applied Physics degree programme. In 2020, a proposal for an M.Sc. in Astronomy and Astrophysics will be tabled for approval. The B.Sc. (Hons) Astronomy and Astrophysics Elective is expected to feed directly into the M.Sc. (Astronomy and Astrophysics). The programme derived for the 25 NUST students who attended this Astrolab Week, put the emphasize on how Astrolab is developing interest in science studies and critical thinking for the students in many situations independently of the astronomy domain. Observations with the Las Cumbres Observatory telescopes and data analysis were performed by the participants. From the students previously enrolled in Astronomy and Astrophysics in the B.Sc. (Hons) Applied Physics degree programme, two of them participated to this training and will end their reports this academic year. A first in Zimbabwe.

Astrolab Training Week (18-22 November 2019),
University of Venda,
Thohoyandou, Limpopo Province, Republic of South Africa.

To select the undergraduate students who participated in the The Astrolab Week at the University of Venda, Limpopo Province, the emphasis was put on the “Historically Disadvantaged Universities” (HDU). Students came from: from North West University, University of Fort Hare, University of Johannesburg, University of KwaZuluNatal, University of Limpopo, University of Venda, and University of Zululand. Moreover 6 future Astrolab Trainers (university lecturers) participated to this Week : 3 from South Africa: North West University, University of South Africa, and University of Zululand; 2 from Zambia: Mukuba University at Garneton, Itimpi, and Mulungushi University at Kabwe; 1 from from Ethiopia: Kotebe Metropolitan University at Addis Ababa. This Astrolab training was challenging for the students as well as for the instructors, the students were coming from several universities with different backgrounds. The main goal of Astrolab 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 was achieved due to the commitment of the instructors. Personal support to the participants was the way of working during that week. The observational part of this enquiry-based lab makes use of the Las Cumbres Observatory telescopes.

Final report