MAV Constructing Mobile Planetarium in Benin with Recycled Materials

Mobile Astronomy Village (MAV) aims to develop astronomy and science education in Benin through planetarium sessions in primary and secondary schools and university centers. The team hopes it will arouse scientific curiosity among young people (including girls), a taste for more advanced studies, and the creation of astronomy clubs.

MAV organized an astronomy cultural week in March 2022 with several activities carried out at the University of Abomey-Calavi and some primary and secondary schools in the cities. of Porto-Novo and Adjarra. The team talked about the importance of science and met teachers and students to discuss the development of science and technology in Benin. On the International Day of Light in May 2022, MAV conducted observations of the lunar eclipse in several parts of Benin. They organized a school tour to set up school clubs in these schools and encourage the involvement of young girls.

To date, three major open days for the discovery of astronomy and space sciences have also been organised. Thirty people attended in person and the rest online, with participants coming from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Kenya, Canada, Haiti. The team visited the Polytechnic School Complex “Les Jumeaux” in the district of Aglobè / Commune of Adjarra where the school expressed a desire to assess the impact of the teaching of astronomy on school results and the fight against dropping out of school for young girls and school pregnancies.

Training sessions for 30 teachers was conducted on August 9, 10, 25 and 26, 2022 in collaboration with the NASE program: Network for Astronomy School Education. Finally, the team is training students, with the support of local craftsmen, to manufacture a planetarium tent and telescope from recycled materials.