A diverse team, including a cultural anthropologist, a camera expert, an astrophysicist, and an entrepreneur, collaborated to train the inaugural batch of astronomy guides in Malaysia. The participants in this program come from various professional backgrounds such as city tour guides, naturalists, tourism operators, and amateurs. To equip them with profound knowledge and skills, we have, so far, organized ten weekend classes, assigned four individual tasks, and arranged a 1-on-1 regional in-person meeting. Soon, we will be conducting a comprehensive three-day, two-night training session followed by a final evaluation. This multifaceted approach ensures the production of well-rounded and knowledgeable astronomy guides, poised to enrich the edutourism landscape of Malaysia.
Activities carried so far:
- Ten series of weekend classes
- Four individual tasks on: a) Essay writing on meteor shower b) Storytelling on zodiacs c) Organizing a Perseid Meteor Shower public event d) Creating a social media post on meteor observation
- One-on-one regional in-person meeting
- ‘Star Fest’ was organised in Kuala Kubu Bharu, Malaysia on 21 October 2023 by the Hulu Selangor City Council and Sahabat Langit Utara – SALUT with stargazing, planetarium shows, astroguide training and more.
The team has developed a multifaceted sustainability plan to ensure the continued impact of our project after the OAD funding concludes.
1. Leveraging Partnerships: We have already begun collaborating with the Hulu Selangor Municipal Council to strengthen community ties and optimize local resources effectively, aiding in the longevity and success of our project.
2. Resource Accessibility: Our materials and resources will be freely available via the Sahabat Langit Utara website (in development), allowing for wide-reaching access and ensuring continued utilization and learning.
3. Community Engagement: The website will serve as the central platform for monitoring astroguide activities and engaging the community, promoting interaction, and feedback, essential for the sustained impact of the project.
4. Training of Trainers: We are planning to expand our efforts to other states, starting with Perak, employing a “Train the Trainer” model to facilitate widespread knowledge dissemination and impact.
5. Seeking Alternative Funding:*We have secured support from Tourism Malaysia and Yayasan Hasanah, demonstrating our commitment to diversifying our funding base and ensuring the project’s financial stability.
6. Impact Assessment and Improvement: We are dedicated to continuous improvement through the regular evaluation of feedback and outcomes, refining our approach to better serve the community’s evolving needs.
7. Volunteer Network: Through our project campaigns, we are actively recruiting volunteers who are passionate about astronomy and eager to contribute to the project in various capacities, strengthening our community network and ensuring the project’s sustained momentum.