The SASB project organised a teacher training and stargazing event at Kanye and Machana in Botswana from 6–9 June 2023. Teachers from rural areas and primary schools students from poor socio-economic backgrounds were targeted. The training covered an introduction to Astronomy and the history of Astronomy, definitions of celestial objects, overview of the solar system and planet Earth, history of exploration of the solar system, cosmology, ongoing space projects in Botswana and how to use/read astronomical coordinates. The team presented science gadgets, paper microscopes and organised a star gazing night for pupils and families alike.
- Training of primary school teachers from Southern Botswana with frontal lectures on topics of general science, geology and astronomy.
- hands-on experience with Galileoscope (including assembly and astronomical coordinates use)
- Scientific activities and experiments of microscopy with 90 primary school pupils in Machana.
- Star gazing night in Machana
Coverage by the national TV station, BTV, of the stargazing event at Machana appeared on the evening news, and the Government newspaper, the Daily News, also covered the event.
Overall, the SASB event was a successful cooperative effort between all parties involved and paved the way towards another training. From August 21-23, Diamonds in the Sky conducted a similar event, facilitated by 4 members of staff from the Botswana University of Science and Technology, along with Dr. Tshipa from the University of Botswana, with three days of teacher training at Mphuthe JSS in Letlhakeng. This was followed by an evening of stargazing at a pan near Metsibotlhoko. This event was sponsored by the Ministry of Research, Knowledge and Technology, together with BIUST, and was largely a result of the response to the first event.
A questionnaire will be sent to the participants in order to evaluate the impact of the activities and materials provided by the project.