HBSST workshop is the first Astronomy program in Nigeria which is Hands-on. The program had positive tremendous impact on the participants because it translated Astronomy which studies distant objects into practicable and visible reality bringing those distant object closer to them in simple terms via descriptive teaching approach and inquiry based method of teaching, thus exciting the teachers and every other young minds into the quest for more.
HBSST was designed to promote astronomy appreciation for primary and secondary school science teachers in Nigeria and to bring the basic observational tools of Astronomy and space science closer to them. This teacher hands-on training workshop was successfully organized to hold in two Centers namely,
– Nsukka in Enugu State of Nigeria, located in the South-East Zone (1st – 3rd) of June 2017 and
– Port Harcourt in Rivers State of Nigeria, located in the South-South zone of the country on (5th – 7th) of June 2017 respectively.
These two Centers were chosen to bring the workshop closer to participants from various Schools in all six geo-political zones of the country. A total of 40 teachers were accepted to attend the workshop at each center to make an overall total of 80 teachers to be trained.
The workshop started with a pre-assessment and ended up with a post-assessment, whose result showed that there was a geometrical increase in Astronomy awareness amongst the teachers. There were Three main session of the workshop namely; Lecture session, Technical session and Observatory tour
1. Pre-assessment, 2. Stars and their Nature, 3. Stars, 4. Solar System, 5. Introduction to Astronomy and Space Science, 6. Careers in Astronomy, 7. Installation of Stellarium/distribution of materials on participants laptops, 8. Construction of small optical telescope using locally sourced materials, 9. Measuring the diameter of the Sun, 10. Observation of sunspot using solar-scope and small vixen brand equatorial mount refractor telescope, 11. Observation of the moon using David levy comet hunter small optical telescope, 12. Construction and launching of water rockets using locally sourced materials, 13.
Construction of eclipse model and solar system models, 14. Demonstration on constellation
using universe in a box apparatus, 15. Site seeing of the NASRDA-CBSS observatory and facilities, 16. Site seeing of Rivers State university of Science and Technology research facilities, 17 use of the Dome, 18. Small Optical telescopes, 19. How High is Space, etc.
The following were achieved during the workshop; We upgraded the skills, teaching tools and aids of the teachers, equipping them with innovative and simple method of teaching and learning. The teachers were also trained to use Basic Space Sciences activities as a teaching tool for their subject’s concepts. The course material which include Astronomy based activities and hands on science/astronomy using low cost/locally available material were procured and distributed to teachers for their practice at no cost to them.
1. Nigeria has a population of over 200, 000 million people among whose over 5 million are teachers with Astronomy tasty first year students and PG students too, we need stronger continuous science campaign to reach them.
2. High cost of hosting the program
3. We received more application than requested, thus many teachers and student came to the program uninvited due to the testimony of their colleagues and their quest for Astro-knowledge, we therefore had an over flood of participants on the remaining days of the program.
4. Universities and college Students in Nigeria are willing to study Astronomy if reached and given the awareness thus we had more of these categories of attendance uninvited
1. We need to sustain the high interest of Astronomy and space science among these teachers and newly found first year physics and college students who are carriers of Astronomy knowledge, thus, we propose continuity of the HBSST
2. We suggest that IAU/OAD would take the HBSST serious so as to tap into this large economy of interested Nigerians by issuing a further grant to follow-up this training in the Northern and Western Part of the Country.
3. We have discovered that greater percentage of Nigerian first year students of Physics, Mathematics, and perhaps Engineering, Biology and Chemistry are passionate and enthusiastic about the study of Astronomy but lack the knowledge of its prospect and values economy wise and thus needs the awareness of Astronomy so as to develop this untapped area of science, to bridge the gap between research and technology in Nigeria and Africa.
4. We Have Passionate female teachers from secondary schools who have been trained by HBSST and we wish to add them to the team of instructors during subsequent workshop to
Full report of the workshop available as PDF
Image Gallery – Nsukka workshop
Port Harcourt workshop