Using Online Telescopes in Pakistan

One of the main activities of the project is using online telescopes to introduce students from remote and conflict affected parts of Pakistan to astronomy. For this project, online/remote telescopes will be used since they allow students to access professional telescopes in a classroom setting. These telescope sessions also provide an opportunity for students to learn and improve their ICT skills.

The project started activities in the city of Islamabad. The project team visited schools and conducted hands-on sessions for students using online telescopes. Students completed ‘quests’ on the Slooh telescope platform. During the quests, one on the Pleiades constellation and another on our closest star, the students took live pictures using the canary 5 solar telescope and gained knowledge about solar features. The students even enjoyed learning how to use the discussion board. These two quests which should have been completed in two to three days took seven days due to constraints with the availability of computers and internet as well as power outages. 

In May 2023, an orientation session was organised for 300 students on the usage of online telescopes. Physics and ICT Teachers from the school also attended the session. The students were grouped in three to four classrooms, connecting through the same link. Due to a slow internet connection, some of them were unable to complete with the session. So a step by step guided recording will be provided to the students to serve as a tutorial.

The team now plans to engage schools in remote regions of Pakistan. School administrators and teachers attended an orientation and planning session. They were given insight on engaging their students in astronomy using online telescopes. The plan is to engage students from different campuses of the region.