Universe Awareness, an inspirational programme for disadvantaged young children                                           ...
Universe Awareness, an inspirational programme for disadvantaged young children                                           ...
Universe Awareness, an inspirational programme for disadvantaged young children                      Uniqueness of Astrono...
Universe Awareness, an inspirational programme for disadvantaged young children                    Structure of the progra...
Universe Awareness, an inspirational programme for disadvantaged young children    Structure of the programme III - Conten...
Universe Awareness, an inspirational programme for disadvantaged young children    Structure of the programme V - Modular ...
Universe Awareness, an inspirational programme for disadvantaged young children                   UNAWE – Pre-pilot projec...
Universe Awareness, an inspirational programme for disadvantaged young children                   UNAWE – Pre-pilot projec...
Universe Awareness, an inspirational programme for disadvantaged young children        Next steps in the development of UN...
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Universe Awareness - An Inspirational Programme for Disadvantaged Young Children

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"Universe Awareness - An Inspirational Programme for Disadvantaged Young Children"
C. Odman

Presented at: Torino Conference,
Granada, Spain

February 2006

Published in: Education, Technology
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Universe Awareness - An Inspirational Programme for Disadvantaged Young Children

  1. 1. Universe Awareness, an inspirational programme for disadvantaged young children Universe Awareness an inspirational programme for disadvantaged young children. Carolina Ödman, Leiden Observatory10 February 2006XVIII Torino workshop, Granada Universe Awareness, an inspirational programme for disadvantaged young children What is Universe Awareness? Expose very young (ages 4 - 10) disadvantaged children to the inspirational aspects of astronomy. Motivation Beauty and size of the universe excites young children Basic knowledge of the Universe is a birth right Ages 4 - 10 are crucial for child development Knowledge about the universe can broaden the mind Why disadvantaged young children? Need is greatest Cognitive disparities increase with age10 February 2006XVIII Torino workshop, Granada
  2. 2. Universe Awareness, an inspirational programme for disadvantaged young children Who is behind UNAWE? George Miley, Leiden Observatory Claus Madsen, ESO Cecilia Scorza de Appl, Heidelberg University Isa Baud , University of Amsterdam Alec Boksenberg, University of Cambridge Karl Sarnow, EUN, Brussels Education Sub-Committee Cecilia Scorza de Appl Gonzalo Argandona Organisation Sub-Committee Chandra Fernando Birthe Kirknaes Jesper Kirknaes Naoufel Ben Maaouia Alec Boksenberg Bernat Martinez Premana W. Premadi Marina Joubert Rosa M. Ros Karl Sarnow Claus Madsen Henri Boffin Richard West George Miley Marie Rådbo10 February 2006XVIII Torino workshop, Granada Universe Awareness, an inspirational programme for disadvantaged young children Goals Communicate the Beauty and Scale of the Universe Excite young children Broaden their minds Development of cognitive skills Reach as large a number of children as possible Principles Inspiration is paramount: Emphasis on play and entertainment Bottom-up approach: Driven by the needs of the locally-based cultures and educators General approach: Earth awareness and citizenship, membership of a diverse human family Awareness of the Sun, planets, solar system, galaxy, Universe.10 February 2006XVIII Torino workshop, Granada
  3. 3. Universe Awareness, an inspirational programme for disadvantaged young children Uniqueness of Astronomy for Child Development Science: investigation, curiosity physics, chemistry, biology development of technology Culture: astronomers are historians heritage across all civilisations Interface with other disciplines: philosophy, sociology the big questions Exciting! beautiful and exotic objects extreme conditions unreachable Great for children’s imagination!10 February 2006XVIII Torino workshop, Granada Universe Awareness, an inspirational programme for disadvantaged young children Structure of the programme I - Environments Basic Environment School from ages 7 – 8, sometimes non-existent TV scarce None or poorly trained teachers Mobilize parents and community leaders? Intermediate Environment School from ages 6 - 7 Very limited sporadic access to the Internet TV at home and school Poorly trained teachers Short UNAWE program Advanced Environment School from ages 4 - 5 Access to internet at school and often at home Well-trained teachers UNAWE on school curriculum10 February 2006XVIII Torino workshop, Granada
  4. 4. Universe Awareness, an inspirational programme for disadvantaged young children Structure of the programme II - Material General characteristics Modular: Occupy few contact hours per year upwards Adapted: Languages and cultures of target groups Stimulating: must cultivate imagination Professional: Must be developed by professionals Strong message: Uniform characters and settings Rooted: Involve primitive cultures in astronomy10 February 2006XVIII Torino workshop, Granada Universe Awareness, an inspirational programme for disadvantaged young children Structure of the programme II - Material Inspiration and learning through Playing and active stimulation Songs, games, toys etc. Model building that children can keep Excitement Short adventure films Cartoon characters, gripping adventure stories Set in beautiful and exotic environments Internet (Advanced Environment) Class twinning to reinforce Earth awareness Developing countries often have darker skies10 February 2006XVIII Torino workshop, Granada
  5. 5. Universe Awareness, an inspirational programme for disadvantaged young children Structure of the programme III - Contents Core topics C1 Sky awareness C2 Earth awareness C3 The Solar system C4 The galaxy and beyond10 February 2006XVIII Torino workshop, Granada Universe Awareness, an inspirational programme for disadvantaged young children Structure of the programme IV - Didactics D1 Direct observations D2 Hands-on activities D3 Playing and singing stories and myths D4 Twinning activities, interactive software Large input from local cultures!10 February 2006XVIII Torino workshop, Granada
  6. 6. Universe Awareness, an inspirational programme for disadvantaged young children Structure of the programme V - Modular Structure Sky Earth Solar System Galaxy ++ Direct observation Hands-on activities Songs, games, myths Twinning, software10 February 2006XVIII Torino workshop, Granada Universe Awareness, an inspirational programme for disadvantaged young children Structure of the programme VI - Teacher Training TRAINING OF “UNAWE REGIONAL COORDINATORS” Why? Contact between UNAWE and teachers impossible Intermediary organizers needed Role Supervise program in specific region Maintain contact with schools and teachers Practical Aspects Training course by UNAWE ~2 weeks? ~20 coordinators per country? Needs further development and input from partner countries Approach will differ for each target region10 February 2006XVIII Torino workshop, Granada
  7. 7. Universe Awareness, an inspirational programme for disadvantaged young children UNAWE – Pre-pilot project: VENEZUELA, January 2006 Chuao, a village on the coast Contact with children on the road Showed a few images Explained beliefs about the moon They told their stories Played with a model of the galaxy Interest from the women in the village - questions Played the dance of the planets on the plaza Great interest in astronomical pictures!10 February 2006XVIII Torino workshop, Granada Universe Awareness, an inspirational programme for disadvantaged young children UNAWE – Pre-pilot project: VENEZUELA, January 2006 Mérida, a teacher training workshop Collaboration with an expert on Indian astronomical traditions and multicultural education Encounter between mythical and scientific view of the world Teachers asking questions! Respectful of superstitions Training with children Building their own models to take back Transparencies Visit from Ye’kuana Indians (Southern Amazon) Explained the calendar, constellations and astronomical tradition in every-day life Different holidays...10 February 2006XVIII Torino workshop, Granada
  8. 8. Universe Awareness, an inspirational programme for disadvantaged young children UNAWE – Pre-pilot project: VENEZUELA, January 2006 Foundation of the Venezuelan National Action Committee Other contacts Amateur Astronomers Humboldt Planetarium (Caracas) “Tricolor” magazine Education Ministry10 February 2006XVIII Torino workshop, Granada Universe Awareness, an inspirational programme for disadvantaged young children Next steps in the development of UNAWE Limited number of targeted countries/regions ~ 4 developing countries ~ 4 EU countries The goals of Universe Disadvantaged regions (e.g. inner cities) Awareness are in line with two of the United Presently interested Nations Millennium NON-EU: Development Goals :! South Africa, Chile, Venezuela, Tunisia Indonesia, India (i) the achievement of EU: universal primary Netherlands, Ireland, Spain, Italy, UK education and! (ii) the promotion of gender equality in schools. Formation of National Action Committees Interdisciplinary workshop Lorentz Centre, Leiden, NL, October 200610 February 2006XVIII Torino workshop, Granada
  9. 9. Universe Awareness, an inspirational programme for disadvantaged young children Next steps in the development of UNAWE ORIENTATION: 2005 - 2006 Obtain seed funding Prospectus, web pages, posters Endorsements from distinguished scientists and humanitarians Develop relations with possible funding agencies Contact with professional film makers, game companies, etc. PREPARATION: 2006 - 2007 Formation of UNAWE National Action Committees Contact with fund-givers Definitive plan for tools (films games, toys) Definitive plan for training DEVELOPMENT: 2007 – 2008 Creation/ production of tools Organise training courses Detailed plans for implementation IMPLEMENTATION AND EVALUATION 2009 – 201010 February 2006XVIII Torino workshop, Granada Universe Awareness, an inspirational programme for disadvantaged young children www.UniverseAwareness.org "I am happy to endorse your project, which I think is very worthwhile. " Prof. Riccardo Giacconi, 2002 Nobel Prize "I am delighted to add my endorsement to the program you describe! ” Prof. Joseph Taylor, 1993 Nobel Prize “I endorse your efforts on this educational Gracias! Programme. " Sir Martin Rees, President of the UKs Royal Society10 February 2006XVIII Torino workshop, Granada

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