Under the Same Sky: Teaching the Teachers in Liberia

We will provide a 2-week workshop for up to 40 science teachers in Monrovia, Liberia. The educational system, as one of the key drivers for social and economical development, is in a devastating condition after two civil wars and the Ebola crisis. We are going to support the teachers with basic astronomy knowledge and classroom experiments to use astronomy as a gateway to scientific literacy. Our previous experience of offering such workshops in Accra, Ghana (2010, 50 participants) and Monrovia, Liberia (2012/2014, 90 participants) has proven the strong need and appreciations from the teachers (see www.2hnet.org and testimonials below). We have founded the “Helping Hands Network”, to reach our long term goal: improving education in Liberia. On the short-term, we will provide additional subject-based workshops for teachers and on the mid-term, we will develop a “training the trainers” network in collaboration with the Physics Department of the University of Liberia. Astronomy has the unique narrative that we live together on this one planet in an unimaginably large Universe. Especially in the post-civil war Liberia, we will highlight the unifying and peace-building aspect of astronomy education. We will meet with teachers and school principles in September 2018 to define needs and aims for this workshop. We will also provide classroom material and fabrication instructions for the teachers that they can readily use with their classes.