South African National Science Week

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"South African National Science Week"
C. Odman

UNAWE in South Africa

May 2007

Published in: Technology, Education
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South African National Science Week

  1. 1. UNIVERSE AWARENESS Inspiring young childrenCarolina ÖdmanCape Town, May 12, 2007 UNIVERSE AWARENESS (UNAWE)• Initiative for a worldwide scientific culture.• Expose very young (ages 4 - 10 years), underprivileged children to the inspirational aspects of astronomy. – Broaden their perspective – Enhance their understanding of the world – Demonstrate the power of rational thought• By hopefully broadening children’s minds, UNAWE aims at stimulating tolerance and internationalism 1
  2. 2. ASTRONOMY FOR PEACE• Science • Multidisciplinary – Investigation, curiosity – The big questions – Ambassador for all sciences – Development of • FUN! technology – Beautiful images• Culture – Extreme conditions – History – Unreachable yet past & in the making! available to all – Cultural heritage Astronomy is Science 2
  3. 3. Astronomy is culture & historyAstronomy is culture & history 3
  4. 4. Astronomy is Fun! SALT first light image MOTIVATION• Beauty and size of the Universe excite Young Children• Basic knowledge of the Universe is a Birthright• Ages 4 - 10 are crucial for Child Development• Knowledge about the Universe can broaden the mind• Why young and underprivileged children? – Need is greatest – Cognitive disparities increase with age – Cultural differences less pronounced 4
  5. 5. GOALS OF UNAWE • Communicate the beauty and scale of the Universe to young children • Use inspirational astronomy to develop cognitive skills • Reach large numbers of children • United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – Universal Primary Education – Gender Equality in Primary School INGREDIENTS OF UNAWE• Material Games, cartoons, songs, hands-on material • Entertaining and developed by professionals (ECD/didactics) • Translated into various languages and cultures• Training • Dialogue, dissemination, feedback, evaluation • Tailored to each country and community• International Network • Communication between teachers and development professionals worldwide • Exchange of ideas, experience and materials • Coordination of independent initiatives 5
  6. 6. UNAWE as of October 2006 TIMELINE 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 PREPARATION DEVELOPMENT IMPLEMENTATION EVALUATION• 2009 International Year of Astronomy… 6
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  8. 8. UNAWE in SA• Diverse Communities – Rich cultures – Numerous languages• Similarities in needs – Across the country – With other UNAWE countries (India)• Existing Infrastructures and programmes• Ongoing Development (KAT, SKA, etc.)• Community development philosophy associated with large scientific projects MORE INFORMATION http://www.UNAWE.org/ email odman@strw.leidenuniv.nl 8

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