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Universe Awareness - Inspiring Young Children
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Universe Awareness - Inspiring Young Children


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"Universe Awareness - Inspiring Young Children" …

"Universe Awareness - Inspiring Young Children"
C. Odman

Presented at: International Astronautical Congress (IAC)
Touching Humanity: Space for Improving the Quality of Life
Hyderabad, India
September 2007

Published in: Education, Technology

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  • 1. UNIVERSE AWARENESS Inspiring Young ChildrenDr. Carolina Ödman Hyderabad, September 27, 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 the minds of the children – Enhance their understanding of the world – Demonstrate the power of independent thought 1
  • 2. 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 Astronomy for Peace Education• Science • Multidisciplinary – Investigation, curiosity – The big questions – Ambassador for all sciences • FUN! – Development of – Beautiful images technology – Extreme conditions• Culture – Unreachable yet – History available to all past & in the making! – Cultural heritage 2
  • 3. 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 PRINCIPLES OF UNAWE• Inspiration is paramount – Emphasis on play and entertainment• Bottom-up approach – Driven by the needs of the local communities and educators• Underprivileged children in diverse environments• Exploits ethnic heritage and folkloric astronomy – Intangible cultural heritage 3
  • 4. INGREDIENTS OF UNAWE• Material – Games, Cartoons, Songs, Hands-on material – Developed by professionals – Translated into various languages and cultures• Teacher Training – Coordinators in each target country – Tailored to each country and community• International Network – Platform for Outreach professionals and volunteers worldwide – Exchange of ideas, experience and materials TIMELINE 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 PREPARATION DEVELOPMENT IMPLEMENTATION EVALUATION• 2009 – Several developing countries and EU member states – Activity for the International Year of Astronomy… 4
  • 5. UNAWE Internationally National Pilot Projects• Venezuela: – UNESCO Schools network, Astronomy community, Ministry of Science and Education• Tunisia – Science City, Teacher training and travelling “Astro-Bus”, Ministries of Family Affairs and of Education• India – TNSF, Pratham• South Africa – SALT Collateral Benefits programme, DST & SAASTA• Colombia – Private Initiative, MALOKA• Indonesia – BOBO Magazine, Students volunteersm Open days 5
  • 6. International Pilot Activities• Lunar Eclipse March 2007 – Skypecast: ~ 15 countries 4 continents, ~ 60 people aged 7 - ... – Easy to organise at short notice• Sutherland, South Africa - Preston, UK April 2007 – Skype Video Chat between learners• Cape Town, South Africa - Chennai, India April 2007 – International National day• Live Astronomy – 3-way exchange: latitude & longitude UNAWE International Network• Numerous initiatives around the world – Often isolated – Growing interest and feedback for UNAWE• Platform for communication and community – Exchange of ideas, experiences, material – Announcements – Think-tank for bottom-up approach – Outlet for UNAWE ideas & materials – Inclusion of other partner countries – Independent spin-offs 6