Every year, the OAD receives numerous, good quality proposals that we are unable to support. We compile these projects on to a ‘Recommended List’, which is shared here for the benefit of potential funders. The 2020 Recommended List has 21 projects. Read the project summaries below.
Please contact us to support or collaborate with one or more of the projects.
|Girls Astronomy Camp 2020
|Presently, the population of out of school children in Nigeria stands at 13.2 million, the highest on the planet. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), says its latest survey “indicates that the population of out of school children in Nigeria has risen from 10.5 million to 13.2 million, the highest in the world”.
Nigeria accounts for more than one in five out-of-school children and 45 percent of out-of-school children in West Africa. Even more worrisome is the fact that at least 2 out of every 3 out of school kids in Nigeria are girls. This means out of this 13.2 million out of school kids, roughly 66% are female. Financial difficulties, unexpected pregnancy, early marriage, change in career goals – vocational training, parents’ attitudes, graduate unemployment, socio-economic status, family size and general lack of interest in school are some of the factors responsible for this number. Ajaja (2012) https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1066762.pdf The Astronomy camps for Girls aim to target girls, who are out of school mainly due to lack of interests. Not all the girls are interested in going back to school, our aim is to target the girls who can be inspired by Astronomy into returning to school. Astronomy Camps would be organized in communities that have the highest numbers out of school girls, and part of this project would be to see that the girls who are interested in returning to school are encouraged, followed up and helped back into the school system. Primary Education is almost free, tuition and some essential books are highly subsidized, also, some states have free lunch, however, parents have to be responsible for their ward’s transport allowance. AWB Nigeria would be partnering state governments, to encourage girls to re-enroll in schools through this project.
With 5 different camps, our target is to get 500 girls back to the classroom by the end of year 2020. We hope to develop a feedback program that involves the families of the selected girls
|Developing Astronomical Skills in Nepal (2020)
|The main objective of this project is to identify, train and facilitate undergraduate students on basic research practices who seek their career in science particularly in astronomy/astrophysics or space science. This project is a follow up of the ‘Developing Astronomical Skills in Nepal (DASN)’ held in 2018. DASN proved instrumental for us to establish partnership with academic institution. This project created an environment for the research activities at Damak Multiple Campus (DMC). NASO signed an MoU with DMC in order to foster the research culture in province-1, Nepal. We received positive response from National Youth Council (NYC), Kathmandu University (KU), Mid-Western University and Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST).
The students from DASN is conducting Python Workshop, Latex Workshop, visiting schools for astronomy outreach. It helped us to create awareness about the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM). Since most of the DASN participants were involved in school teaching, we have seen the impact in the school education as well. Several science clubs have been established to engage students in STEAM activities. Also, the collaborative environment among the participants of DASN is another successful aspect of the project. Students from province-4 also organised Python and Latex workshop for their colleagues and juniors.
Unlike in 2018, we plan to take students from the 2nd 3rd year for the proposed workshop and the winter school. We believe, it will give us ample time to do follow up with the students for their activities as our previous students did for their faculties, colleagues and juniors. With proper mentorships and tracking, we are trying to find the best approach to link students’ work with their academic excellence. Taking students from the 2nd year is a trial to see how effective we go with the project in 2020. We hope DASN2.0 will allow us to create such community in another provinces.
|Social Media for Astronomy
|The project targets lower secondary school students in Narok County, Kenya(ages 13-17).We aim to reach 20 schools in a project duration of 5 months. The first phase involves visiting the schools and doing outreach activities, trainings, sharing content and distributing materials to these schools.Note that Narok county has very little light pollution away from the small town. We will visit each school three times in the first phase and work with the county government and schools so that the project is fit into the curriculum. We will focus on the solar system and our galaxy so as not to overwhelm the students. Accounts with audio visual, memes, text-image mashups, vines and snapchat videos to do with astronomy will be set up on the social media platforms so that the students can refer to these at any time. Links to each platform will be provided and the walkintospace.com website will be updated with e-resources. The second phase involves working together with an assigned mentor (a teacher in the school) in each school to aid creation of content by the students to be uploaded to/shared with the accounts. This phase will be approximately 4 weeks. When the content from the outreach is still fresh. The last phase involves voting for 3 categories after our initial selection based on creativity so that each school is represented. The categories will be MemeVerse,VineYard(max 10 sec videos) and SnapVerse(Max 5 mins).Ultimately the whole school and community will be involved as this content will be greatly shared. After 4 weeks the voting will close and the winners announced who will receive galileoscopes, have space clubs with support set up(3 schools) and have access to VR gear and educational materials donated to their respective schools. Our categories are gender inclusive with no separation between genders. The accounts will keep operating after project completion as we aim to involve more schools and people.We will also teach use of social media responsibly.
|The Next Generation RadioAstroTech Workshop
|The main concept, borders around being an active contributor to the awareness of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Interestingly, the techniques used in radio astronomy contain these STEM skills that can empower individuals, especially the youth, to be creative and take their ideas through to commercial success. Massive datasets produced by the current operation of radio telescopes have created the need for astronomers to build the skills in data science in order to handle these data. Moreover, this same method can be used to address the challenges faced in sectors such as health, agriculture, finance and telecommunication, just to mention but a few. Using data science, invaluable insights can be gained from the large amounts of data collected by institutions in these sectors to inform their daily operations. However, most Ghanaian students lack the requisite skills to solve the data problems in these data-driven sectors. Ghana does not have any of its universities offering astronomy or data science however, there are few local companies such as Dataware, Meltwater and IBM Ghana which do offer data mining services.
It is therefore essential that we train students and (young) scientists with the skills to tackle the advanced challenges this new breed of radio telescope are presenting, starting at understanding the characteristics of radio data and handling large data volumes, up to the astrophysical analysis and interpretation of the resulting large data sets. A workshop of this nature is therefore set to entice and encourage faculties in helping to see the need for Data Science being an integral part of the university degree programs. An engagement of faculty heads and stakeholders in this regard will therefore help in streamlining and adapting a good curriculum for teaching Data Science in Ghanaian universities. A couple of data mining firms will be invited to speak on some practical projects they have been engaged in over the years.
|Mauritania Observatory for NOmad Development
|Chinguetti, created in 1265, has a rich history and the desert is a great wealth for astronomy and a beautiful natural patrimony. Today, astro-tourism is not developed in Mauritania. The objective of this project is to develop a scientific tourism, with people located in Chinguetti and its region. We propose to set up an observatory in Chinguetti town. It will propose astronomical activities for local people and tourists (wherever they come from, but mainly French speakers). For public, there will be observations and discovery of the sky of the desert; For schools, lectures of astronomy given by trained local people.
Chinguetti has a population of almost 5 thousand people and the tourists staying there mainly use private homes that the inhabitants (mostly women) provide and take benefit of. Most houses can already welcome tourists and more precise numbers will come during phase1. Currently, we have connections with families of Chinguetti, and with funders for phase 2. We are supported by Maître Bouhoubeyni from Nouakchott, president of Human right for Mauritania. During phase 1, we will build connections with Mauritanian universities, possible new funders detailed below and organisations for tourism market.
With phase2+, MONOD can enrich the network of ground-based facilities and research activities, bringing recognition at international level with researchers and amateurs.
|Solar System Broadcast for Haitians
|The target is HAITI. Even Haitians in diaspora could be also reached via distributed podcast.
|SSBH is a project to broadcast a radio program on the solar system to the youths in Haiti twice a week for 6 months: live once weekly + one re transmission on the radio station; the file will be distributed and remain available in social media, Internet drive and the site of our association.The listeners will be stimulated by gifts to answering live questions (phone credits, data jumps with astronomy files) and in quiz each 3 months (+ impact survey) with astronomy books in french. Those broadcasts will aim to change the view of astronomy in our community and to show the implication for Haiti to know about planets (including Earth) since we are all under one sky and will have the same destiny in the solar system. Done directly by our team, we could have special guests in some episodes to talk about peace/community building, and we would make the natural link with astronomy. The community building is a special flagship of our local association aiming to build Haitian astronomical community as well.
In each of monthly content, parallel will be done to celebrate our common humanity, to discuss environmental awareness, social issues in the sciences — such as implicit bias, stereotype threat, gender roles, inequality. These last topic will be arranged by our team according to specific topic.
The broadcast plan: Astronomy/Telluric worlds/Review and online contest 1 (+ impact survey)/Giant worlds/Smallest worlds/Review and online contest 2 (+ impact survey)/
Some challenges in Haiti will be addressed like false religious interpretations of natural facts, disinterest for school, women in science and exclusion from global science. SSBH will inspire the youths to take more interest in education, it will lead to more interest in science among public, the pupils and students.Examples will be carefully prepared from history of astronomy to show and discuss on air and online about these challenge and also they will be represented in the impact survey.
|Buryat aboriginal skymap
|Buryat people are the aboriginal population of the western coast of Lake Baikal. The territory used to be the Buryat province before Russians. Most of their population lives in small villages and they still have dark sky there. In the authentic Buryat culture starry sky played a significant role (Buryats are cattle raising people).
Ust-Orda village in Irkutsk region has the ethnographic museum. It has no particular exposition devoted to any of the celestial phenomenon or any images its constellations, related myths and beliefsves of Buryats about starry sky. Irkutsk planetarium and IRAS will draw the original sky map of the Buryat ethnos and save its myths and novels about the sky for the human heritage. Drawing the sky map and preparing the exhibition will help to improve the quality of education by bringing schoolchildren to the museum and to make the Ust-Orda province more attractive for tourists. We will advertise the exhibition widely using all the kinds of media. Therefore, the local economy will get more money. Schools will visit the exhibition in groups as a part of Buryat culture classes.
On the first stage we will make an exposition for the ethnographic museum. It will contain the skymap, the replication of the astronomical instruments and different artifacts referring to astronomical observations. We plan to implement only this stage in this proposal.
We also have plans for developing this project in the future. The second stage will have the output in Web site which contains the interactive Buryat aboriginal sky map with related myths and legends. At the third stage we will produce the planetarium full dome show with the accompaniment of Buryat ethnic music and stories. The show will be included in the schedule of Irkutsk Planetarium (45 000 annual attendance), and we will try to spread it among other planetariums in Russia and abroad. If we do not perform these tasks and the Buryat sky map will not appear with great probability nobody will do it an
|Astronomy in rural areas: igniting educational curiosity
|With this project we aim at inspiring children and adults living in the rural region around Udaipur (Rajasthan), and to use Astronomy as an instrument to battle social problems affecting the area. We will target 5 government schools in villages distributed around Udaipur, organising for each of them a full day dedicated to Astronomy. The day will start with activities in classes and will end in the evening with an open event for the community. Special care will be put in involving parents, thereby ascertaining the safe return of students to their homes. School time activities will be mostly in Hindi with the idea of learning while having fun, and combining difficult concepts with everyday objects. For each classroom, we will provide educational decorative materials such as posters and postcards. As we believe in long term impact, we will equip targeted schools with a tablet and a working internet plan (suburbs of Udaipur have sufficient cellular coverage), that will be used to carry on a mentoring project open to every student and teacher of the targeted schools. This will allow curious students to frequently connect with an international network of astronomers (team members and several others that already expressed interest in being involved), and also allow us to keep track of the students that might drop out and motivate them to do otherwise. In the open event, we will make use of a projector and our own computers to show 2 short and tailored videos in Hindi on the following topics: 1) Earth and the Solar System; 2) Astronomy in India. Exploiting the unpolluted clear sky of those areas and a small optical telescope we aim at describing the objects that are present in the night sky. In addition, we aim at underlying to the parents the importance of scientific studies and presenting our mentoring project. Furthermore, we will contact the Udaipur Solar Observatory for their guidance and support in the upcoming years.
|Poverty-reduction and mental health improvement in South-western China through Astronomy
|The main goal of this project is poverty-reduction and mental health improvement in South-western China through astronomy. The target audiences are left-behind adolescents and their parents, science teachers in local schools. Our targets include 1. train teachers with basic astronomy knowledge and research English. 2. train teachers on how to provide psychology aid to left-behind adolescents. 3. introduce career path in astronomy to students. The execution of this project in the county where the world’s largest filled-aperture radio telescope is located provides an excellent opportunity to achieve the project goals (the schools, students, local government are already exposed to the regional economic impact of the telescope, and infrastructure is available).
The left-behind adolescent problem is a long-lasting issue in rural areas of China. It means children whose parents work in big cities for living and have to leave their children raised by distant relatives. Based on a Chinese NGO report “The spiritual status of Chinese left-behind children 2018”, there are nearly 10 million left-behind children in China. Due to poor education condition and absence of personal care from their parents, these children behave far below average in the compulsory education courses. Moreover, as affected by ancient traditions, female adolescents are easier to be left.
With collaboration between local government, education bureau and women’s federation in Pingtang, Peking University and Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST), we will organize a one-week workshop for forty school teachers and forty left-behind students. The workshop includes four-day astronomy and psychology aid methodology training to the teachers, one-day astronomy career path introduction to the students and one-day FAST visit for teachers and students. We expect this project to be the flagship project in this region inspiring future long-lasting program on astronomy education and poverty reduction.
|Astronomy Edutainment for Development Caravan
|Astronomy Edutainment for Development Caravan is a community outreach, education, entertainment and capacity building project design, to take development through Astronomy across communities in Sierra Leone.
The ultimate goal of the project is to embark on mass public education outreach and awareness campaign on issues of Climate Change; Peace and Social Cohesion; Quality Education for All; Sexual and Gender-Based Violence; and also, to propagate the existence of Astronomy, pioneer the establishment Amateur Astronomy Clubs and carry out membership mobilization across communities in Sierra Leone.
The project intends to use the Training of Trainers Workshop; Peer Educators Workshop; Townhall Meeting / Public Lecture; Astronomy Football Gala; Astronomy Moonlight Carnival; and Digital Media Literacy Training Program; as a vehicle to convey information, education, and awareness campaign messages about Climate Change; Peace and Social Cohesion; Quality Education for All; Sexual and Gender-Based Violence; and Astronomy to the target audience, and beneficiaries, across the 3 project communities “MAKENI, BO, and KAMAKWIE” and beyond.
The purpose of these activities is to empower the target audiences to become certified Astronomy Trainers, Peer Educators, Desktop Publisher and Graphic Designers. Also, to sensitize participant athletes, spectators, of the public lectures, sports and entertainment events about Climate Change; Peace and Social Cohesion; Quality Education for All; Sexual and Gender-Based Violence; and Astronomy as well as promote peaceful coexistence across the 3 project communities.
The caravan will take off with the Townhall Meeting / Public Lecture across the 3 project communities, and will stop at Makeni to hold the 3 days Training of Trainers Workshop and 3 days Peer Educators Workshop and will then proceed to the 3 project communities again to deliver the Digital Media Literacy Training ; Astronomy Football Gala; and the Astronomy Moonlight Carnival.
|The 4th South West and Central Asian Regional Workshop
|SWCA ROAD countries: Armenia, Georgia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkey
|“The project is aimed at organizing a regional workshop “The 4th South West and Central Asian Regional Workshop” on 14-18 September, 2020, as well as publishing scientific and popular materials. The subject of the workshop will be the Space Sciences and Technology. The project will help to spread Space Science to the region. The project will be focused on hands on activities and effective communication skills. The scientists and young researchers 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 of the institutes of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences and volunteers.
Work plan of the project
• Creation of an official webpage of the workshop, (Jan)
• Announcement of the workshop and call for registration, (Feb)
• Distribution of e-mail announcements on a regular basis with wide involvement of mass media, (Feb-Jun)
• Preparation of necessary materials (posters, participants’ kits, including bags, badges, etc.) and areas (workshop hall, etc.), (Jul-Sep)
• Publication of a book of abstracts of papers to be presented at the workshop, workshop information booklet, poster contributions, postcards of astronomical heritage sites of the region, CD/DVDs of contributions, etc., (Aug)
• Revision of applications and selection of participants, (Jul-Aug)
• Drafting, publication of the agenda, list of participants, etc., (Aug-Sep)
• Welcoming the participants, airport, the hotels, then to the venue of the workshop transfers, (Sep)
• Organization of oral contributions and posters, meals, coffee-breaks, sightseeing tours, and other social events. (Sep)
The project will also contribute to promoting IAU’s visibility in the region. A separate session of the workshop will be devoted to IAU ROAD activities. By the collaboration of the Armenian and Turkish astronomers the workshop will promote peace and prosperity in the academic sphere of
|This initiative is being proposed by Pak Astronomers Islamabad (formerly the Pakistan Astronomy Society) the proponent is the General Secretary of Pak Astronomers, Islamabad. For details you can visit https://pakastronomers.com.
Astro Adventures as the name suggests is about infusing the out-door adventurous aspect of astronomy with the power of experiential learning, thereby delivering an unforgettable experience.
The proposed initiative can be divided in to three phases or steps:
1. Astro Adventures participants based in large cities will be charged for astro-tourism trips to dark sky sites. These trips will generate conversations (especially through social media and online avenues) about astronomy and enhance the numbers of amateur astronomers in Pakistan.
2. The revenues generated from these trips will be used to train teachers and educate students in backward areas with hands on astronomy, telescope making workshops and lectures. As the trips are usually at least 2 days, therefore the local school children will also be given a chance to experience astronomy observation first hand.
3. The third step is that the revenues raised from these trips will be used to provide basic telescopes (Simple refractors and Newtonian reflectors) and training materials to the schools in less developed areas. Along with a training session for local school teachers on how to conduct observation sessions. This way, a long-term impact can be created within just a matter of a few months.
Let’s look at the event that we held on 30th October 2018 or many events afterward. (The link to the images of that event is here https://pakastronomers.com/activities). The event was organized in collaboration with the students of the school (in Gujar Khan, semi urban town near Islamabad) and its teachers. These events along with basic training and simple refractor telescopes, will enable the teachers to conduct observation sessions on their own thereby promoting astronomy in Pakistan.
|Universe without words
|The main idea of clubsinpal is to establish mutually beneficial relationships between the members of a community, the Bogota Planetarium being a fundamental social actor in the task of guaranteeing a life in equal conditions for deaf people, in which access to art, science and culture, therefore the realization of an Astronomy Club is proposed, in which ways of communicating beyond oral expression will be explored, a strategy that seeks to bring not only deaf people, but also their families and society in general, to new ways of relating and building scientific culture, understanding the realities of diversity.
The deaf community, over the years has established communication strategies, which in the case of Colombia is called (LSC) Colombian Sign Language, which in very specific fields such as astronomy does not have enough signs, making this community exclude from participating in outreach activities. Therefore, in the biweekly sessions and events in the institutions, it will be sought that, as the community becomes a participant in the scientific culture, also its producers of their own language, reaching agreements that allow consolidating methodological strategies in the approach of the themes suggested from the interests of the deaf community, as well as the construction of the signs that are necessary.
The difference with what has been done is that it is understood as a language that is innate to culture, which is why it is incorrect to name it as sign language, a difference that has occurred since the international congress of the deaf in 1951 in Rome and is recognized that each country has its own culture and from there each country has worked to strengthen its own sign language. In the case of Colombian Sign Language (LSC), after conducting a judicious review, no signs focused on astronomy are recognized to date.
|Sustainable local socio-economic development in Southern Africa through Astronomy
|Namibia, Mozambique, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Madagascar, South Africa, Kenya, Malawi and Mauriti
|We envisage a 3 days regional workshop in Zambia with majority SAROAD Country Coordinators and selected industry representatives conveniently located in Zambia, some with branches in other SAROAD member countries. These will include MTN Zambia, Airtel Zambia, Kitwe City Council, Standard Chartered Bank, Barclays Bank, Zambia Meteorological Department and Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The idea will be to build local astronomy-industry related prototype hands on projects in Zambia which will have potential to be scaled up and replicated in other SAROAD country nodes. The workshop will serve as a platform for Country Coordinators to engage with the Zambian industry, tap the possible challenges they are facing related to data mining and data management and then take a co-design approach to draft projects for implementation in respective countries aimed at solving similar problems raised by the industry representatives.
|Assess Astro-tourism potential and Light Pollution awareness in Tanzania
|The United Republic of Tanzania
|Tourism as a major source of revenue for the government and 1/3 of the country hosts dark skies near the equator allows 90% of the night sky to be observed, and 16-ton Mbozi meteorite in Mbeya are astro-tourist attractions from western nations plagued by light pollution.
A pilot study of potential for attracting foreign and local astro-tourists as well as nearby schools, teachers and parents, will be conducted at tourist hotels that are on tourist circuits, in two contrasting sites in tourist area Arusha, and Mbeya on the Cape to Cairo Road near the Mbozi meteorite. Three hotels have been contacted and have shown interest.
Expert tutors will train five astro-tour guides from each hotel, for four weeks with hands-on training in astronomy and instrumentation and night sky practicals of night sky attractions visible during the whole year. One telescopes will be purchased for training and used in observatories at the hotels by transporting from one to the other hotel. With attrition of two students, eight trained astro-tour guides will be allocated four each at the two hotels in Arusha and Mbeya for two months.
Pairs of astro-tour guides will guide the astro-tourists, two for evening shift and two for dawn shift for 4 weeks each. A reasonable fee will be charged (10 USD for foreign and 2 USD in TSH for local) for night sky and telescope observations with expert commentaries. Flyers and social media will be used to advertise the night sky activities. Fees will be reduced significantly for local astro-tourists during last week to check whether the initial fees were reasonable. Income accrued during this pilot project will be shared between hotel, project team and astro-tour guides under a ratio to be agreed with the hotels.
Visitor numbers and their comments will be recorded diligently evaluation sheets will be offered to the astro-tourists for comments. One tutor will supervise at the two hotels for 4 weeks each
|One Nation, One World, One Sky: Astronomy for ALL Malaysians
|Our unpublished online survey shows that 50% of young Malaysians (ages 18-35) across socio-economic and cultural backgrounds once dreamt of becoming astronomers, but did not know how to or were unaware of available opportunities. 85% of ~700 respondents state they would be very keen to meet and talk to a professional astronomer. This project aims to connect aspiring astronomers in Malaysian schools and universities, with professional Malaysian astronomers based both locally and overseas who can share their experiences, form mentoring relationships and provide the necessary career guidance.
We will kickstart this effort through a week-long astronomy event. This will include a 3-day astronomy workshop with the following:
(1) Talks by Malaysian professional astronomers from diverse backgrounds, research expertise and career stages about their work and experience.
(2) Small group sessions in 4 different languages for informal interactions between students and professional astronomers.
(3) Panel discussions between astronomers and relevant stakeholders, e.g. education ministry representatives, STEM-related NGOs, amateur astronomy groups, students, on how to develop astronomy in Malaysia, provide more opportunities for future astronomers, and better prepare students for an astronomy career.
This will be followed by a 2-day roadshow, in which the professional astronomers will be divided into teams and sent to 5 other regions in Malaysia to participate in locally organized outreach events at schools/universities/observatories and further connect with potential future astronomers. We will launch an online Malaysian astronomers directory and create an online platform for continued interactions between professional astronomers and the public.
This will also be the first time Malaysian astronomers based both locally and overseas will gather together in one place, to forge long-term collaborations and generate more local training and research opportunities for students.
|Network for Astronomy School Education (NASE) Training in Tanzania
|The United Republic of Tanzania
|Astronomy programs are not taught beyond grade 10 level. Higher concepts like relativity and cosmology are covered in degrees with Physics majors. Hence all science teachers currently have low knowledge with misconceptions in Astronomy topics. Very basic common knowledge is taught in Primary and Secondary schools. Current Secondary textbook has a good astronomy chapter but teachers tend to skip teaching it citing lack of time especially since the astronomy topic usually contributes only a couple of short questions in final national secondary school examinations
Our project takes advantage of Network of Astronomy School Education (NASE) training program that provides two experts to come to Tanzania at their cost. Training is conducted by the NASE experts together with local tutors who are members of Astronomy and Space Science Association of Tanzania (ASSAT). Training uses tested lectures and group workshops and hands-on activities, discussion and practical night skies observations and telescope. http://sac.csic.es/astrosecundaria/en/politica_calidad/Lista.php.
Forty to fifty participants will be chosen from among teachers from primary and secondary schools in urban and rural areas near and around Dar es Salaam, with equal representation of female and male trainees. Trainee teachers will be carefully canvassed for motivativated teachers who will sign a statement to agree (excluding emergency or unbearable circumstances) to remain a t the school and teach astronomy for a period of at least two years after the training. Teachers will get a training manual to use as a resource. Trainees will be kept in close touch with the local tutors to assist when needed.
NASE program covers travel costs of NASE experts but local costs are paid by the hosts. Funding is needed to cover the local costs of room, board, and local transport for two NASE experts, a telescope, training materials and consumables, and five days’ hostel accommodation and food for participants.
|Upgrading Competency of University Teaching Staff in Astronomy Education
|As a consequence of the previous OAD project P171RAERMU, we could set up the astronomy curriculum for physics undergraduate classes. Now, physics departments from about 10 universities among 48 Arts and Science Universities in Myanmar are offering introduction to astronomy and astrophysics lecture course in undergraduate classes. Astronomy talk shows and night sky observations could be organized by Astronomy clubs from Mandalay University and Yadanapon University. By holding such kind of activities, most of the students are getting eager to study astronomy and astrophysics.
However, in new generation, there is a lack of competent lecturers for this course after getting retired the lecturers who offered astronomy courses in Physics and Mathematics Departments in the old time. For the sustainable development of Astronomy Education in Myanmar Universities, the training course to teaching staff is essential. The plan for this proposed project is two university teaching staff who teach the astronomy course to take a hands-on training about four weeks at Physics Department, National University of Singapore (NUS) under the guidance of expert. It is the specific course for this project. The intended expert is Dr Abel Yang, Lecturer from NUS who has a profound experience in teaching and education of Astronomy. After getting a training course, we plan to conduct the refreshing training to other teaching staffs from Myanmar Universities through by those two teaching staff.
|Global Health Course on Astronomy, Climate Change and Disasters
|Philippines, Cambodia, Laos; scaling up to the Pacific, Southeast Asia and Africa
|As the climate emergency worsens, a deeper understanding is necessary to mitigate the severe changes in our world. This understanding hinges upon a understanding of astronomy, planetary sciences, geology and meteorology. Linking astronomy to a systems approach to health gives us a global perspective of climate change and its impact on the health of populations. We will develop a 2-3-day face-to-face course focusing on the relationship between astronomy, climate change and disasters from a global health perspective. We will develop a curriculum (instructional design, interactive lectures, discussion guides, adult-oriented learning techniques), a handbook, and online e-learning modules that, and social media-based network to link graduates further collaboration, mentoring, and research. We bring in experts in global health, astronomy, and disaster science. We pilot the course in the Philippines, a disaster-prone country, and extend to Laos and Cambodia, and other disaster-prone countries. Feedback from pilots will be used to refine the content. We recruit participants from a variety of backgrounds; particularly young professionals. The course will be aided by Global Health Focus (GHF), an international initiative aimed at empowering professionals and trainees with global health knowledge and skills in developing countries. Since 2015, GHF trained over 10,000 individuals from 5 continents. Graduates are part of an emerging group of global health leaders. We have experience bringing these courses to those who are willing to pay a small fee to cover food, material, and logistical costs ($5-20). The courses have attracted emerging global health enthusiasts from over the world. Participants tend to use this to navigate their careers, and use the certificate to help develop their CVs. Our courses are open to all, including professionals. The program will become a permanent part of GHF and will be institutionalized, and IAU-OAD support will be acknowledged.
|Teaching Astronomy in Mozambique: revealing new frontiers of the Universe.
|Astronomy is one of the most fascinating basic sciences, attracting the attention of children, young people and adults worldwide. Being interdisciplinary, Astronomy is fundamental to (re)build school curricula and to discuss development in the 21st century. In Mozambique some levels of primary and secondary curriculum have some topics related to astronomy, although is not clear stated that is astronomy content. Taking in consideration this issue, this project will bring the opportunity to advise the local curriculum developers the importance of including astronomy in the curriculum. The main goal of the TAMOZ Project is to bring together local researchers in education/science education and the PLOAD (Portuguese Language Office of Astronomy for Development) Team, as well as local primary and secondary students and teachers from the ten provinces of the country to discuss the difficulties of fully integrating Astronomy activities into school curriculum in Mozambique as well as the introduction of new ways to promote science education. Through the Galileo Teacher Training Programme (GTTP), which is based on a hands-on methodology, local teachers will receive specialized training on a wide range of topics in Astronomy at the frontier of the knowledge and will be encouraged to continue/extend their studies in Astronomy and Astrophysics to enhance and promote the capacity of the country in building and receiving the ambitious SKA project. PLOAD members join this project as a trainers as well for the annual PLOAD meeting. The trained teachers will also be encouraged to become GTTP trainers to train other teachers in their local provinces . Participants will also be introduced to new tools and resources for science learning and to the promotion of 21st-century skills. The workshop will take place at Eduardo Mondlane University (Maputo-Mozambique) in the Astrophysical laboratory full funded by the SKA – South Africa, and will last 5 days, in May 2020.
|Touching the Universe with all the senses from the desert of Atacama
|“Touching the Universe with all the senses from the desert” is an initiative born in the Institute of Astronomy and Planetary Sciences (INCT) of the Universidad de Atacama aims to ensure inclusivity in the 3rd Region of Chile (Atacama) and bring fun and culture to the vision-impaired community by sharing astronomical knowledge as well as astronomical observations, hence we should empower them through ensuring that they learn astronomy using these 3D models in order to realize their contribution. A longer-term goal is to increase the projects reach to children’s and adults with vision impairments and for older adults. Such initiative and projects do not exist in our local area, and professional astronomers believe necessary to impulse these activities to help to make a positive impact on the mental states and quality of life in the city of Copiapó and surroundings. The pilot project will be focused on developing ways to use 3D tactile models of the Universe improving and expanding similar programs like AstroBVI (https://astrobvi.org/), Tactile Universe (https://tactileuniverse.org/), among others, create networks between all local schools, the Universidad de Atacama as a base center, and local museums to ensure that our resources are accessible to all the community. The core resource is 3D images of galaxies, evolutionary stage of stars and planetary systems, which will be created using a 3D printers, administrated and coordinated by professional astronomers at INCT which will test and develop these resources to ensure that they are suitable for the intended audience. Our two main aims for the future are to make our tactile models and resources available to local museums, local schools and the University of Atacama, and to offer a consultancy service to any other outreach programs as PAR EXPLORA ATACAMA. The 3D models will be able to benefit the sighted population too and may also be a basis for developing similar models for teaching other subjects/topics.