This project is based on introducing Astronomy to refugee settlements through student activities, teacher training workshops, public engagements, webinars on Cultural Astronomy all of which will eventually be incorporated in a mobile Astronomy Lab for replication in other regions of Uganda.
Project deliverables include; introduction of Astronomy in the general sciences education, a catalogue of videos, poems & other collected information for publication & display in an Astronomy museum.
This project will be implemented in the 11 refugee settlements of Uganda, Africa’s leading refugee host.
Confirmed partners of this project include; Mbarara University of Science and Technology a pioneer of Astronomy in Uganda, & UNHCR
Justification for this project stems from the 2020 Astronomy essay (NASA Scientist for a Day) in Bidibidi refugee settlement. There was a great desire for learning Astronomy & the Space Sciences but without necessary platforms & materials due to financial constraints & living in disadvantaged conditions.
Refugees as custodians of knowledge from varying cultures and communities, knowledge likely get lost due to uncertain lifestyle, no formal structure for knowledge storage & sharing, usefulness of institutional cultural Astronomy knowledge in areas that may require purchase & use of modern physical gadgets.
Project implementation plan:
Open Astronomy Teacher Training:10 telescopes donated by Leiden University, will be used for hands on training of 20 teachers.
Webinar (virtual seminar):about 15 experts, amateurs and enthusiasts in Astronomy will be invited to launch the project & offer contribution in terms of expertise, materials and participation.
Cultural Astronomy: Indigenous cultural & social knowledge will be collected from the general public in the refugee settlements focusing on indigenous knowledge on practices related to food security.
Mobile Astronomy Lab:to host public engagements, amateur observations & student hands on projects.”