Final Report

A report on the Regional Astronomy Workshop on Astronomy Data Analysis School
07 – 18 November 2016
Copperbelt University (CBU), Kitwe – Zambia

At Copperbelt University, (CBU, Kitwe – Zambia), the students in Pure Physics and Physics with Education have an Introductory Astronomy course as compulsory at second year of their programme.
For the Physics students from the “School of Mathematics and Natural Science “ and from the BSc in Education, Prospery Simpemba set up a 2-week School on Astronomy Data Analysis.
In that context a group of 34 under-graduate students from CBU learned all the steps of data analysis from selecting an eclipsing binary system to be observed with a robotic telescope to the final aperture photometric measurements on CCD images. For each step practical activities were done by the students.

A research tutorial, Astrolab, is being developed and implemented in universities in need of astronomy infrastructure and curriculum, allowing undergraduate students in sciences to perform real-time observations on a remote telescope, and transforming those observations into a scientific result. This project is a pilot. Presently, the implementation is carried out in three partner universities, Anambra State University in Nigeria, the Copperbelt University in Zambia, and the University of Rwanda.

The goal of this project is twofold:
a) 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.
b) to enhance interest in science studies by making them more attractive and getting the students involved in the “learning”.

The level is that of science students at an introductory astronomy course (1st or 2nd BSc), but can be adapted downwards as well as upwards.

For more details, please see the project report