Overview of the project

Project leader: Julie Bolduc-Duval, julie@decouvertedelunivers.ca
Project location: Canada

Project description:
Discover the Universe (À la découverte de l’Univers) is a Canadian-based program offering free online astronomy workshops for educators. Over the past 4 years, we have reached over 750 teachers and informal educators from all across Canada with extremely positive comments and feedback. Our typical workshop lasts three weeks and includes a weekly webinar on different subject plus activities for participants to do on their own. Everything is accessible on the internet and the webinar can be watched synchronously or asynchronously (recording). All our activities are offered in French and English.

While our programs are offered to Canadian educators, we usually get a few international participants, especially in our French workshops. This brought the idea of offering an international workshop for teachers. Since it is harder to find good French resources in astronomy online, we will focus our efforts on a French workshop to begin. As we are already running such webinars, we could use our existing website and resources and adapt them to an international audience.

The plan is:
• To offer a free 3-week online workshop for teachers covering basic concepts in astronomy (motions of the Earth, moon, solar system, observing the night sky, etc);
• The workshop would be offered entirely via the internet, with a weekly webinar. We also offer activities do to in class as well as digital resources (slides, images, links to interesting websites, etc).
• Our marketing strategy would be to reach many French-speaking teachers from developing countries, especially in Africa.

The ultimate goal is to increase science literacy and education quality among the next generations. Teachers will gain a better understanding and appreciation of astronomy and learn innovative ways of teaching and presenting astronomy. They will then be able to share this fascinating science with kids in many countries. We are hoping all this will have a positive impact of the quality of education of not only astronomy, but science in general and math.

Discover the Universe is offered in Canada by the Canadian Astronomical Society, the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada and the Fédération des astronomes amateurs du Québec.

About the project leader:
Mrs Julie Bolduc-Duval is the coordinator of Discover the Universe. Julie has been developing and running online workshops for the past 4 years through Discover the Universe, the only national astronomy outreach program in Canada. Julie also teaches physics and astronomy part-time at the college level in Quebec, Canada.