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 2023 Recommended List has 22 projects. Read the project summaries below.
Please contact us to support or collaborate with one or more of the projects.
|Project title||Target countries||Summary|
|Space Club – East Africa||Kenya and 2 other countries in East Africa (such as Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ethiopia)||Space Club – East Africa will build on the pilot project from Kenya. The aim of Space Club will be to create awareness on space related disciplines and give primary school students access to information and materials that can help them pursue Space related careers in the future. The target audience will include students in primary schools (approximately age 6 – 14)
The team will begin by reaching out to regional partners in Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Kenya (some of whom we are already in contact with) and signing Memorandums of Understanding to implement the Space Club – East Africa project in their various regions. The regional coordinators will work to secure more partners and sponsors in their regions to support the project creating a network of organizations in East Africa for Space Club.
Building on the previously developed content, we will publish the content and recreate (where necessary) new content in the four areas of Earth Observation, IT and Robotics, Space Engineering and Space Science and Astronomy. The content will be designed to involve practical activities that students can undertake. Phase one will include a single students book in each area of focus and if possible a comic book. This process is projected to take about 6 months. Each region will be required to publish at least 1000 books from each of the four areas in phase 1.
Once complete, each region will hold a launching event with students from a suitable number of pilot school from diverse areas in each region to unveil the content. Each school will be given the content to use in their school based Space Clubs. The school based clubs will meet on a weekly basis to learn and carry out activities from the books.
After monitoring the school based clubs (through club patrons) for the first year, the project will expand to more schools.
|Advancing radio astronomy and development in Africa through science diplomacy||Botswana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Mauritius, Namibia, Zambia, and Ghana||The Africa Capacity Report (2017) noted that despite the growing emphasis on science, technology, and innovation (STI )for Africa’s development, effective use has been hindered by low investment by governments, lack of specific capacities, critical technical skills, and resources to promote research and development (R&D), improve higher education and foster growth. In addition, key actors in the national innovation system operate in ‘silos’ and science diplomacy can be an opportunity to open lines of communication and engagement with stakeholders to increase support and investments in science. Astronomy becomes an entry point to discuss other economic and social development dimensions.
The project will develop a toolkit with a collection of adaptable resources for SKA partner countries that enables them to learn about science diplomacy and how it can aid development. The targeted audience for the toolkit includes DARA student beneficiaries and partner institutions (universities, research institutions). The objective is to identify feasible approaches to science diplomacy which are compatible to country and regional contexts. The development of the toolkit will have the following key stages
1. Gather science diplomacy needs among the DARA and SKA partner countries. This will also include current practices, case studies, best practices, and models etc.
2. Synthesise the findings into a report
3. Drafting of the science diplomacy toolkit and associated resources
4. Piloting the toolkit in Ghana – 10 communities (Ghana is chosen as one of the second African countries after South Africa to have successfully done significant work on the SKA project in Africa)
|The Space Flight Project: Mission Strato||Nigeria||The Space Flight Project: Mission Strato is designed to be a hands-on education program for Secondary School students. The aim of the project is to offer secondary school students the opportunity to design, develop and build a scientific experiment and fly it to the near-space region with a stratospheric balloon. A major objective of the project is to inspire the next generation of astronomers, scientists and engineers that will develop the next phase of Nigeria’s Space Research & Development Project. IMPLEMENTATION PLAN: A website will be created that describes the project to Secondary Schools. The schools selected will be based on the experiment they are planning to implement by an expert panel. The aim is to have 10 schools participating in the project. The participating schools are to select 5 girls and 5 boys to develop any science based experiment as a payload not exceeding 500g to be flown to the near space region and upon return to earth, data recorded will be presented, as well as, lessons learnt. A participating slot will be given to IDP (internally displaced persons) children that have been introduced to Astronomy in the past 2 years. The IDP team has proposed a project to measure pressure and temperature in the atmosphere as a function of altitude. Their payload will be able to measure pressure & temperature in the atmosphere as the balloon rises in altitude. The data retrieved from the balloon will be compared to the US Standard Atmosphere Air properties model. A presentation will be made before the peers in conclusion of their findings. Examples of experiments that can be flown to the near space region are Agricultural seeds (to test the effects of space conditions on plant seeds), astrobiological experiments (testing the survival of microbes in the upper atmosphere), collection of stratospheric samples (air/dust compositions), observatory missions (remote sensing from space) and using machine learning to analyse data from space environment. The balloo|
|Ciência na Fronteira: Expandindo os Limites do Conhecimento (Science on Frontier: Expanding the Knwolodege Limits)||Brazil||We have two targets: public university undergraduate students (named as trainees) and elementary/high-school students (named as participants), all of them in social and economic vulnerable situation. With the first, the goal is to promote capacitation and help them financially by paying for their work in the project as a partial job. For the second we intend presenting Science in an accessible language and show how the scientific career would be a possibility in their lives, as a way to change their reality.
The project core is the financial support to the trainees. In our country, public universities are free, but it is tough for poor students keep their studies, since it is arduous for them to find a partial job – mainly now, because the country is facing a huge economic crisis. So, in addition to helping them establish themselves professionally, as they will work directly with the participants their life stories will serve as an example and guide for the young.
The project steps are:
1) Select the trainees from different places in the country.
2) Training this team in a face-to-face (if possible) workshop.
3) Select the participants.
4) First cycle: five months with two face-to-face activities/month (3-4h each meeting). The activities are “hands-on”: the students conduct experiments oriented by the trainees to understand the main concepts and use this learning to analyse real data. If possible, we will also conduct remote observations. All the experiments use low-costs materials; this choice has two reasons: invest money in people development instead of materials and teaching our trainees activities they can easily repeat. The subjects are described on the schedule. Besides them, all activities also highlight the role of women in Science, promoting the identification of the participants with them.
5) Evaluate the activities and use the practical learnings to improve them.
6) We repeat the 4th step with a new group of students (the trainees will be the same).
|Astronomical Center of Hand-On Training for Primary and Secondary Teachers||Our project target TOGO, West African country.||Quality education is a crucial issue for any nation wishing to improve the standard of living and quality of life of its people. Its contributions is not only to increase knowledge but also to participate actively in building an egalitarian society whose benefits generate economic growth and reduce poverty.
This is the goal we aim to achieve by setting the Astronomical Center for Hand-On Training of Primary and Secondary Teachers (ACHOTPST), in order to support the emergence of a future generation of highly qualified, responsible scientists able to respond effectively to current and future challenges in Togo and beyond.
The ACHOTPST will be a third place equipped with materials (3D printers, telescopes, computers, …) for producing innovative tools and resources for schools in order to help teachers innovate in the method of teaching science and to ensure the continuity of scientific and technological education in the classroom.
This center will also serve to organize regular basic training workshops for teachers as well as for science students who will be the future science teachers, in order to equip them with the necessary scientific and technological skills for an adequate teaching of science, especially for the teaching of the basic notions of astronomy that are integrated in the scientific disciplines. This will change the way science is taught and will make learners more interested in science be curious, innovative and creative.
Thanks to the efforts of the Geological Science for Sustainable Development NGO in promoting astronomy in Togo, astronomy has seduced young Togolese, teachers and education stakeholders throughout the country. This center will be therefore a best opportunity to continue to sensitize the Togolese population in astronomy. To launch this center activities, 3-days pilot Hand-on teachers training workshop will be organized based mainly on astronomy topics that are integrated in scientific disciplines taught in Togo.
|Astronomical Qualification Program for Preachers||Egypt||Introduction: We are presenting a project to train a specific category ( preachers ). The preachers are students at AlAzhar University (male & female ), after graduation they will work in various organizations.
1#The role of preachers is related to community awareness and correcting concepts about many community issues and they have a strong influence in our society, since they work with all segments of society in field meetings in youth centers, clubs, factories and various gathering places also They are in close contact with society through various media.
2# Unfortunately their study not include any principles of the basic concepts of astronomy.
3# their qualification make their role positive in the society, which affects the availability of security and peace in society, which provides the appropriate environment for community development.
4# Raising their competence by raising awareness of science in general, and astronomy in particular, is very important because astronomy, astronomical calculations, times, calendars and basic concepts about the universe are not understood by them in the way they should be.
5#There are many training programs that are required from the National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics NRIAG, but due to its cost, the Institute needs some support to increase the number of such courses.
6# In our society generally, there is no any contradiction in views between science, astronomy and religious beliefs, the problem lies only in the lack of a qualified trainer to teach astronomy to these preachers in their stages of education. Therefore, we are putting forward this project in order to enable us to organize training courses in order to reduce this gap in the astronomical knowledge for the preachers.
7# We plan to organize training courses for those preachers in other hand we plan to prepare a supplementary resources. we will present 4 quarterly training course in 2023, each will targeting 40 preachers.
|Astronomy and Science education for children and adults in remote Honduras||This project targets a remote area of Honduras. This is a pilot project and our goal is to subsequently expand it to other areas of Honduras and other Central American and Caribbean countries.||We plan to set up an outreach program that will benefit the remote community of El Rincón in Honduras. The program consists of science workshops delivered to the community in person and online, as well as an excursion to the Astronomical Observatory at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras in Tegucigalpa. One of our goals is emphasising how scientific knowledge and practices can be applied to enhance quality of life through, for example, improved critical thinking.
El Rincón is a community of 400 people located in the mountainous region of south-west Honduras. Residents live in conditions of extreme poverty and with little access to education. The nearest school is five kilometres away and kids do not have means of transportation. Nearly all families work on coffee fields, including children, who are expected to help their families from an early age.
Oved Lopez grew up in El Rincón, and since 2016 has been implementing innovative educational practices in his community. He started by making books and other didactic resources available to everyone and has been tirelessly encouraging children and adults to explore and embrace their cultural passions. Internet access in the village is limited, so he installed wi-fi antennas in mango trees to connect to the internet.
Astrophysics in Central America and the Caribbean (Alpha-Cen) is a non-profit and non-governmental scientific organisation established in 2019. The main goal of our organisation is to foster the development of astronomy across the region. We collaborate with local universities as well as institutions world-wide, and outreach is one of our key activities. When we became aware of Oved’s work in El Rincón in October 2021, we immediately saw an opportunity to contribute. We met Oved and the children of the village via Zoom shortly after, and agreed that the best way to support the educational development of this community was delivering astronomy and science workshops aimed at both kids and adults.
|SPECIAL KIDS ASTRONOMY||NIGERIA||Special kid astronomy is solely projected towards special kids living with various forms of disabilities in Special School Lafia and Our-Lady-Apostle Girls College Akwanga a rural area in Nasarawa State. These kids are often relegated to some traditional superstitious belief of being witches (ogbanje) or they are limited by nature thus they don’t fit into our society but are liabilities especially in rural areas facing poor quality education hurdles and also most girls within rural villages from poor background are plagued with teenage pregnancy and child marriage. This horrible narrative and belief system is sailing negative vibes of psychological trauma and social exclusion which leads to inferiority complex and low self-esteem as a result most of them are beggars littered across the street. This to help these special kids develop confidence and belief to pursue professional careers in science, technology and humanities so as to be financially independent and contribute to the economic and social development and increase girl-child education and decrease teenage pregnancy.
The construction of an Astro-Digital Lab in this special school and Our Lady Apostle with state-of-the-art equipment, technology and toys will provide the following;
● Special learning aids for special kids who are difficult learners: The 3-D effect of rotating solar system, providing space view and sensation.
● Avenue for inquiry-based knowledge: This method activates curiosity which leads to students asking questions, developing ideas and analysis.
● Superior learning environment: The rotating and 3-D effect of the projected solar system (space effect).
● Presentation across discipline: Writers, Musicians, Animators, Artist and non-science related professionals can draw inspiration from Astro-Digital LAb.
If Stella Felix first female Nigerian to visit space, and Charles P Steinmetz with spinal deformity become an Engineer then, special kids and the girl-child can achieve their dreams.
IDENTIFICATION OF TANZANIAN DARK SKY PLACES FOR CERTIFIATION BY THE INTERNATIONAL DARK SKY ASSOCIATION
Project leader –
|TANZANIA||To identify areas that are accessible to tourists and visitors of national parks that are sufficiently dark for naked sky stargazing or using telescopes. We will use our National Parks across Tanzania for identification as Dark Sky Places that have very restricted human influence in terms of lighting with places measuring sky darkness (lack of brightness) of or above 20 or 21 mag/asec2. Will be sought for Certification by the International Dark Sky Association (IDA) as Dark Sky Places. The international listing will open up Tanzania for having good Dark Sky places for enjoying the skies as well as the normal natural tourist attractions for wildlife and nature where trained Astrotourguides can target customers. Sky darkness will be measured using the Sky Quality Meters at various distances attract night-time tourists. The sky darkness measurements will allow hotels and centers to know how close to their hotels their guests go conveniently for night sky watching after they come back from their day trips. The measurements will be submitted to the IDA to obtain their certification for recognition as International Dark Sky Places. Available people will be be identified for becoming Astrotourguides for each certified Dark Sky Place. Tourist hotels will be motivated to install small telescope observatories as an entertainment service of stargazing to their guests, and to employ identified Astrotourguides. Hotels will also be encouraged to invest in mobile planetariums as daytime attraction and introduction to night time observations and understand other Astronomy phenomena. The certified Dark Sky Places will also be submitted to the government Tourism Ministry to make Astrotourism additional attraction for international and local tourists. This will also encourage the government and local authorities to enact quality lighting laws and regulations to prevent light pollution in order to preserve Dark Skies across Tanzania and maintain the current pristine rural night skies|
|Cosmic Lab – Virtual STE(A)M Training Academy||Pakistan||Cosmic Lab is a virtual online learning STE(A)M training academy developed as an initiative of Cosmic Tribe to promote and inspire space and astronomy-related education.
These STEM courses are prepared based on the compilation of various sources, delivering content that is striking, easy to understand, and appropriate to the context in which it will be delivered online using a learning management system specially designed to provide educators, administrators, and learners with a single robust, secure and integrated system to create personalized learning environments.
These courses are designed to allow students to learn science and astronomy and enable them to incentivize their STEM learning through our practices. The discipline of astronomy offers a unique opportunity for both science and society through its potential for inspiration and empowerment. They are also going to learn about entrepreneurship that is easy to understand and appropriate to their age group. Entrepreneurship allows students to learn more than just their chosen field of study and creates an interdisciplinary environment to work and develop.
Through OAD grant, we will provide 100 Educational STEM training kits, including free online access to educational resources via LMS (lms.cosmict.org). A total number of eight STEM activities and sixteen lectures are going to be conducted during this project divided into 3 levels of educational standards.
These courses are divided into three levels of learning between the age group of 6 to 18
Level 1 – 6 to 10 Years Old
Level 2 – 10 to 14 Years Old
Level 3 – 14 to 18 Years Old
In Pakistan, lack of awareness among the untapped youth or audience about the vast potential of space science and technology is a significant cause behind astronomy and planetary science not being a career choice among our young generation because job opportunities are less in Pakistan in this field.
|Stone Edge All Sky (SEAS) Survey For Furthering Community Leadership and Development||West Africa (Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Ghana, Cote D’Ivoire, Togo, Benin, Chad, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Burkina Faso)||In May 2020, GLAS Education (NAROAD member), in partnership with the WAROAD, launched a project to provide students whose astronomy opportunities had been impacted due to COVID to participate in remote observing with the 0.5-meter Stone Edge Observatory (SEO) telescope. Data hotspots were purchased for 23 students so they could participate remotely with astronomers and staff at GLAS Education on a variety of projects. The work resulted in 30 online planning and teaching sessions, the compilation of online resources in a Google Classroom, over 50 hours of observing, three presentations at professional conferences, an AAS Education Blog feature, and two published papers. In spite of these successes, there remains enormous untapped potential.
Building on previous work, the goals of SEAS are:
Expand the SEAS Leadership Network
Increase the participation and persistence of women in SEAS and the SEAS leadership
Increase participants’ awareness of career opportunities
Increase cultural awareness between regions
The SEAS leadership in Nigeria and the US believe that a strong cohort of leaders and students in the WAROAD region with continued support from GLAS staff is key to reaching these goals and that this leadership must be developed intentionally over time.
The following objectives support the achievement of the above goals:
Provide laptops, internet access and teaching stipends to established leaders (Peter Onubi, Nnaemeka Njoku-Achu, Idris Abubakar Sani, Eugene Idogbe, and Chioma Franklynda Okany) to ensure more consistent progress on research and data analysis skill and allow leaders to more effectively support incoming participants
Provide data hotspots to participants with limited access.
|Astronomy Club for Boys’ Gender Balance||Selenge province, Mongolia||The project “Astronomy club for boys’ gender balance” project aims is to empower Mongolian boys in science through astronomy club with STEM. The idea of this project is to create astronomy club at selected 4 schools, train students and help them communicate with their own communities to explore collaborative opportunity by sharing their knowledge. The project will involve participants with a male to female ratio of 1:1 from secondary school (The target group will be around 12 years to 18 years old).
Mongolia has been facing serious gender gap issues in the science and education section. Most of the parents think that boys can do physical work and they are able to live without education, on the other hand, girls cannot do any physical work, so they need education. Especially nomads and herders think that no education for boys.
The following statistic data shows the results:
Government authority staff in Mongolia (Total number: 205,000)
Therefore we are going to use the power of Astronomy to foster STEM education in Mongolia, and to contribute to sustainable education balance for boys and girls.
In the long-term, the project will improve the gender gap balance in education and the current lack of boy in STEM through astronomy club and teachers will be appointed as a club patron, to ensure sustainability for each club.
The project team would run the clubs by delivering astronomy lessons to the club members continuously. It will be first project that empowering boys and girls together using astronomy education in Mongolia as well as in the region.
|Capacity Building Training on Dark sky and Astro-tourism||Africa||Dark skies and astronomical heritage are key for fostering Astro-tourism and advancing social and sustainable economic development in addition to being crucial for observational astronomy and scientific development. Africa has a vast cultural and astronomical heritage, as well as an unexplored dark sky that can benefit and be used for the continent’s economic development. Preserving the night sky and investing in Astro-tourism by involving grassroot community of dark sky sites are key to economic diversification and a new approach to Africa’s growth and contribution to GDP. Capacity Building Training on Dark Sky and Astro-tourism (CBT-DA) focused on Africa, is planned in connection with the IAU356 “Dark Sky and Astronomical Heritage” symposium to be held in 2023 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The CBT-DA will be held prior to the symposium. CBT-DA is mainly targeted for the scientific communities working on astronomy and Space Science of the dark sky and its conservation, stakeholders working in the Astro-tourism and tourism industry, decision and policy makers of governmental officials in Africa. The CBT-DA will focus on creating awareness of dark skies and astronomical heritage, developing skills in the conservation and use of dark sky for Astro-tourism, scientific research and measurement of light pollution, sharing experiences and practices on Increasing Local Community and Society Engagement-Economic Benefits, Economic Diversification and Sustainable Development and Panel Discussion on Dark Skies and Astro-tourism Policy and Strategy in Africa. In addition to capacity building, the end goal of the CBT-DA is to first connect the trainee with the IAU386 symposium community to learn the lesson, share experiences, create a network, collaborate. Second, to produce an input report document and resolution from the CBT-DA and IAU386 symposium that can be used to formulating the strategy for African dark sky and Astro-tourism led by the three OAD-ROAD- offices in Africa.|
|Knowledge access and sharing through Cultural Astronomy in Uganda’s Refugee settlements and host communities.||The project is set to run in Uganda and will target refugees from the neighbouring countries of South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi in the refugee settlement camps.||Uganda is the largest refugee hosting country in Africa with refugees from 5 neighboring countries forming 13 refugee settlement camps.
This project seeks to introduce astronomy and space science in Uganda’s refugee settlement camps through;
● Cultural astronomy data collection that will preserve indigenous knowledge that would have otherwise been lost
● Teacher training workshops for curriculum interventions
● School clubs to foster innovation
● Facilitate set up of a virtual cultural astronomy museum in the different refugee settlements
The project was piloted in Bidi Bidi refugee settlement camp in Uganda, and the findings have been summarized in a report attached.
During the next project implementation phase, the following activities will be carried out;
● Preparing teacher training material.
● Teacher training workshops using the database of teachers already established.
● The school clubs will be designed in partnership with existing innovation centers in the refugee camps, to reduce the cost of infrastructure and ensure continuity.
● Launch of Uganda’s first astronomy virtual museum platform.
This will initiate Uganda’s astronomy tourism as a multi-cultural and multi-lingual country, through identifying astronomy heritage sites, scheduling star gazing events and virtual tours. Stories, poems and other cultural astronomy information collected will be published on the virtual tourism site. This will provide a platform for refugees to have a voice and contribution to the economy through virtual tourism site subscription fees and royalties paid.
|Botswana EthnoAstronomy Project: Making Indigenous and Cultural Astronomy Knowledge Accessible through Tswana Tribes.||Botswana||The aim of the project is to share and introduce modern Astronomy in village settlements in the Southern and Kgalagadi district of Botswana through astronomy education and activities. This is to facilitate for an exchange of modern and indigenous astronomy knowledge between the young and old generations. This project will be facilitated in 3 villages per region in Botswana. Within each village we will host an audience of 100 to 150 people with a balanced representation of the genders. Most young males in these villages do not go to school at an early age and instead choose to be herd boys/men, whilst most females go to school but later drop out due to teenage pregnancy and family obligations. Thus through astronomy we will take advantage of the available dark skies in these villages to educate them and ensure change towards gender equality. The knowledge gathered from this project will be compiled and stored in an Online Astro-Indigenous Knowledge Database (OAIKD) to be developed by team members, students and experts/ researchers from BIUST. This database will also facilitate for easy access of this knowledge by the public and basic education schools in future. This OAIKD will have general astronomy knowledge as well as Tswana astronomy: Astronomy Folklore, Tswana astral nomenclature, Tswana astronomy & how it influenced the weather/seasons patterns, hunting signs & patterns, navigation techniques and how it influenced the daily life of the society. This projects addresses the shortage of indigenous and cultural knowledge in astronomy, it will also bridge the knowledge gap between the old and young generations thus preserving ancient knowledge and history from our elders. Due to modernization/globalization, the youth has lost its culture and is not aware of their heritage as thus they have no idea of their genuine and indigenous identity. The loss of culture has thus lead young people to adopt other nationalities cultures and neglect their own e.g. western culture.|
|Astronomy Education for the Blind and Visually Impaired through Tactile Experience||Nigeria||Education is meant for all and not limited to race, tribe or the disabled in the society (United Nations, 2015). The inability to provide special space education and astronomy outreach to the blind/ visually impaired contrasts with the intent of Article 24 of the United Nations Convention on the right of persons with a disability to education. In developing countries, especially in Africa, achieving this goal is quite enormous. This project aims to ensure that people with special needs in our society are not left out of understanding basic astronomy, our universe and the solar system. This project proposes to take astronomy education to the blind and visually impaired undergraduate students of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
The project will be carried out with the guidance of blind/ visually impaired tutors using oral, pre-recorded audio, text readers and hands-on educational methods (tactile model) for a better understanding of the universe. This project will be carried out with the help of the Centre for Basic Space Science- National Space Research and Development Agency, Nigeria (CBSS-NASRDA) and the Anambra State Ministry of Education. CBSS-NASRDA as an agency has seasoned scientists and some necessary educational materials that will help in this project as they host the IAU West African Regional Office of Astronomy for Development (WAROAD). The Anambra State Ministry of Education will help in the printing of materials and logistics support for the project.
This project will borrow a leaf from previously executed projects in the past like the sky in your hands, a touch of the universe and amazing space tactile astronomy to ensure maximum output. The duration of this project will be one week as it will be conducted in different phases. This project will utilize all means at its disposal to ensure that awareness about astronomy and space science is created among the participants. This will ensure their active inclusion in space-related activities and STEM.
|“From School to Space” Lectures Project||Armenia and SWCA countries (Georgia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkey)||This project is in frame of STEM education and is aimed at developing interactive and informal way of teaching Astronomy in Armenia and regional countries. It will be rather productive as it will promote the importance of astronomical knowledge and also this will be a great guide for teenagers to choose Astronomy as a future profession. Armenia hosts the Regional Office of Astronomy for Development of South West and Central Asia (SWCA ROAD) and the project will be implemented by the Armenian Astronomical Society (ArAS) and the Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (BAO). Online lectures will be delivered in English for the regional countries (regional coordinators will support the project) and in person visits will be organized in cities and villages of Armenian provinces. The project is aimed at discovery of talented pupils/students who are interested in Astronomy and at following their further growth as potential future scientists. For this, special forms will be prepared and distributed in schools as feedback on this project. Thousands of school students will fill in and return these forms with their contact details. А number of promotional materials and small telescopes will be distributed to teachers, students and libraries of the schools. After the round-up of feedback at least best 2 students selected from each region (to guarantee the diversity) based on test results will get an opportunity to visit BAO for Byurakan Science Camps (BSC) and Regional Astronomical Summer Schools (RASS). The target group of the project are the school students (7th-12th grades) and undergraduate students from all the regional countries. The aim of this project is to increase the interest toward Astronomy among students, to promote astronomy for development, to give a room for accumulating new knowledge among those who are already interested in Astronomy and also it will be a great chance for all students to get in touch with highly qualified professionals in the field of science.|
|Radio Galaxy Zoo 2 – EMU: Reduce Inequality through citizen science based education program||China, Pakistan, Greece, Australia, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, United States of America||How Artificial Intelligence (AI) helped us make scientific discoveries or solve development issues? Since AI applications are functioning everywhere, this is valuable to high school students (age 15-18), who wonder what to study in universities, and shall face or create the future world. Our project is to teach them how did AI incorporated into radio astronomy research, and guide them to solve problems they are interested using machine learning. Students would (a) build their interests in STEM, (b) learn transferable skills like coding, machine learning, and (c) aware of the role of AI when making discoveries or solving development problems.
Part 1 – Teaching + Problem-based learning program: Involved high school students shall study radio astronomy and machine learning course under Radio Galaxy Zoo – EMU (EMU Zoo) citizen science project scheme for 1 month. They are expected to handle transferable skills: (1) PYTHON programming, (2) machine learning application.
After that, interested students shall form teams of 2-4 students. With full support from supervisors, each team will decide a research topic/development problem to study, explore by themselves, and write a project report in 5 months. The main supervisor would be a teacher who teaches these students in school, and the co-supervisor would be an expert with necessary Astro-research or development background.
Part 2 – Sustainable Learning community foundation: This part is to enlarge our compact by building a sustainable community of students, teachers and experts. Two activities are considered: (a) Astro girl group chat: free career planning consultation for female students, and (b) three live-streamed workshops in hybrid format: Each workshop would (i) teach participants how to run Part 1 program and (ii) covers a typical topic benefits teachers (see schedule). Khwarizmi Science Society and Zhixin Education group, our influential Part 1 collaborators in developing countries, will hold workshops.
|Astronomy for inclusion in Kenyan Day public secondary schools.||Kenya||Astronomy is an old science whose importance is so relevant in an African context culturally speaking. It has been applied in the area of weather forecasting, cultural naming ceremonies, marking landmarks and many more areas. Africa is set to become the host of the largest consortium of telescopes in the name of SKA.
Our project will mainly be focusing on improving education outcomes in Kenyan secondary schools with emphasis on Day Secondary Schools.
The nature of these schools is so dynamic that they admit from below average, above average, to extremely bright, with the majority being below average to average. These schools account for 70% of the schools in my country. This in essence means a lot of learners are taken in by these schools. In most of these Schools where I am a teacher, there exist a lot of challenges on the part of the learners-some have to endure long distances to school, poverty levels affect access to basic things like books, food and proper sanitary materials for the girls. These challenges limit educational success especially in Basic sciences. Since most of these students are average and below average performance in these critical subjects are not so good. With these challenges abounding it becomes difficult to encourage more learners to join the science related careers astronomy and astrophysics included. The problems so experienced become greater with disability being in question. Majority of these learners suffer from various forms of disability ranging from visual impairment, hearing impairment, dyslexia, dysgraphia, intellectual disabilities, and learning difficulties. It is for these reasons that in a bid to address the performance gaps, it’s extremely necessary to address them using astronomy and basic sciences as tools. Practical astronomy is quite fascinating and it excites intuition to believing one can enjoy as well as learn in the process.
The target will be regular public secondary schools .
|ASTRONOMY GOES TO SCHOOL IN TÁCHIRA, VENEZUELA.||Venezuela||We, at the Centro Astronómico Caronte, after 47 astronomy workshops for children and youth in schools and high schools in several municipalities of the State of Táchira in the last ten years, we realized that despite the success of the activity in the student population, the astronomical activities carried out in the workshops did not last over time, mainly due to the astronomical ignorance of the teaching staff. Nobody teaches what they do not know.
To begin to solve this state of affairs, and with the support of the IAU through NASE, we organized and taught in 2021 and 2022 the first two virtual courses of “Didactics of Astronomy” taught in Venezuela using the Zoom platform of the Charon Astronomical Center, from which 162 teachers graduated, where 5 of them took on the challenge of establishing and directing an astronomy club called “Núcleo Astronómico Caronte” (Charon Astronomical Nucleus) in different states of Venezuela.
We also realized that in the state of Táchira, where we live, there are still many Andean villages without Internet access in whose schools there are students and teachers eager for astronomical knowledge. These teachers will be the target audience for this project. What we will do is teach astronomy to the teachers and teach the teachers how to teach astronomy using low-tech resources to bring the knowledge of the sky sciences to the students who will ultimately be the beneficiaries of this project.
|DataWiz||India and applicants from all over the world ( subject to travel restrictions and individual travel funds)||The Big Data era of the twenty-first century has begun. Every area of human endeavour is data-rich and so is the case with Astronomy. Numerous ground-based surveys, space data and archives are available. Data driven research based on handling Big Data, analysing it, seeing patterns and unearthing the secrets of the universe or of the dynamical commercial market space requires an understanding or expertise in Data Sciences. In this project, using astronomical data as well as other non-astronomy datasets, example market, pandemic, etc (https://towardsdatascience.com/26-datasets-for-your-data-science-projects-658601590a4c). We will train college and university students to master the basic skills of data mining and data analysis. This would be helpful and required to make them good researchers as well as employable.
In this project, we are planning on two meetings. One in March and second in October. This will involve basic Data Exploration, Regression Analysis, Clustering Techniques and Dimension Reduction Analysis followed by Science Cases with astronomy data as well as other data which can be used to apply the techniques.
The period between the workshops will be used to work on projects based on material covered in the March workshop by regular Zoom sessions (once a week) and interaction on social media (slack/telegram). Participants will be given a choice of projects after the March Workshop and can organise themselves in groups. They will be encouraged to present their projects in the October workshop. So activity will be on for the complete period. We hope to cover a wide range of wavelengths and science missions. And the October Workshop will involve presentations as well further skill development.
|Automation Technology for Astronomy and Space Science Development||Nigeria||Automation technology includes all processes and work equipment that enable facilities and systems to run automatically. These include machines, apparatus, equipment and other devices. In automated systems, human intervention is minimal. In Africa, over time we have depended on foreign technologies and equipment for astronomy and space science education. The core idea of this project is to avail Africans, especially Nigerians the opportunity to start indigenous design and production of systems for capital development, astronomy and basic science development. The project targets mainly undergraduate science students, especially Physics and Astronomy students within Enugu State, Nigeria.
The projects will organise workshops and hands-on sessions for the different categories of an automated technology. The project will use two weeks each at different years to teach the different categories. The first year of this project which is stage one will be on simple automation using Sensors and Bluetooth Modules. This will be applied in the creation of a smart waste bin, a Bluetooth-based smart door lock and subsequently in dome doors. The second year which is stage two will be on automation using the Wi-Fi module. This will be on the Internet of Things (IoT) i.e., Home Based Automation, which can be applied in space research centres to control light pollution and energy conservation. The project’s third year is stage three and will be on automation using Raspberry Pi. This will be on general automation and will be used in imaging and controlling a telescope for radio astronomy.
The project aims to sensitize and produce IT professionals capable of solving real-time and human problems using automation technology. This project is a giant leap towards creating opportunities for students to practise the theories being taught at universities. Also, the project will expose the students to basic programming, the Arduino application and the use of essential electronic components.