Final Report

Mozambique lacks highly qualified astronomers and astrophysics as well as a scientific culture in the subject. To minimize these shortcomings and foster interest on the subject among young university students we organised thee activities as described in the OAD proposal.

1. Country of workshop: Mozambique
2. City/Location: Praia do Bilene – Tenda Tora
3. Dates of workshop, duration of workshop: 26 September 2016 – 30 September 2016
4. University / universities represented at workshop:
University of Cape Town (UCT)
University Eduardo Mondlane (UEM)
University of the Western Cape (UWC)
Students additionally:
University Eduardo Mondlane
Pedagogic University
5. Number of participants:
11 students plus 4 facilitators

All the 11 JEDI participants were at the pre-JEDI python workshop as well as staff from the University Eduardo Mondlane. The workshop focused on how to write code in python and the science packages Numpy, Scipy and Matplotlib. The workshop was help in the Physics department of University Eduardo Mondlane on the 21st and 22nd September 2016. The responses from the students was extremely positive since they have not had the opportunity to work with python before. Contacts with some of the participants have been maintained since they have shown interest in learning more about the coding language. All the resources produced where distributed by the students.

Although most of JEDI projects have a research component, soon we realised that JEDI-Mz could not
have a high component in research. Instead we develop an Astronomy project so that they could improve their skills in coding, Scientific Method, research and communication. The project/tutorial consisted on using Supernova Type Ia data to fit the cosmological parameters using Chi-square
and MCMC. They worked in groups and all broadly finished the proposed projects. We also encouraged them to independently look for material and have a critical opinion about it.

The JEDI was planned for participants with a higher proficiency in english as well as a better level in
mathematics. We may have been too hopeful on the development of the projects for the JEDI. Future
activities in Mozambique require a better selection of the participants as well as specific time allocation
to solely fill the gaps that participants may have. Despite these, the impact of JEDI in the participants
at a personal level made it worth it. They have shown a high level of engagement which made
the job of the facilitators simpler, since it was easy to identify the gaps which we had to fill so that they
could proceed. In the case of Mozambique a week of JEDI is not enough, except if more prior training
is given.

For further details, please see the full project report (PDF)