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Scientix 10th SPNE Brussels 26 Feb 2016: Universe Awareness


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Presentation of "Universe Awareness", held during the 10th Scientix Projects Networking Event, Brussels, 26 February 2016

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Scientix 10th SPNE Brussels 26 Feb 2016: Universe Awareness

  1. 1. Anne Kerkhoven - Leiden Observatory
  2. 2. Use perspective, inspiration and fun of astronomy to:  Introduce young children from disadvantaged backgrounds to the excitement of science  Enhance their understanding of the world and demonstrate the power of critical thinking  Broaden children’s minds  Stimulate world citizenship Universe Awareness
  3. 3. Interest in Astronomy 2010 Rose Project ”Space: life, wonder, openness” The most popular subject (for girls and boys) Elster et al. 2010
  4. 4. Universe Awareness International Network Educational Resources Teacher Training Evaluation Research
  5. 5. UNAWE: Network 62 Countries (31 from developing world) 1000 Educators, Teachers & Astronomers
  6. 6.  Online resources: open source (creative commons license)  ~100 educational resources (from activity plans to books)  space scoop  > 250 space scoops in 23 languages  New website: UNAWE: Resources The Big Bang that gave birth to our Universe sounds like a spectacular event, an explosion that was unbelievably loud and bright.But thebirthof our Universe was probably very subtle. For a long stretch of time after its birth, our Universe was totally dark, silent and empty. The first stars didn’t spark into existenceuntil theUniverse was perhaps 100 millionyears old.At this timenothing existed intheUniversebut gases. The first stars to exist inour Universe have never beenseenbecause they went extinct a long time ago.But many astronomers havediscussed their existence.These stars would havebeenbornout of material created by theBig Bang. The only chemicals that existed before stars were hydrogen,heliumand lithium.This means that the first stars must have been made only out of thesechemicals,unlike the Sunand all the other stars inour galaxy. Using the time-travelling powers of light, astronomers have been scouring the distant Universe, where the light set off when the Universe was much younger, in search of the first stars. And they’ve just spotted a number of amazingly bright and very young galaxies! One of these galaxies in particular has scientists excited, it’s called CR7. CR7is the brightest galaxy ever seen in the early Universe.You can see an artist’s version of the galaxy in this picture.The clumps of what looks like fairy dust in the picture are indeed magical – they showthat this galaxy was hometosomeof theUniverse’s very first stars! These are the stars that formed the first heavy particles that eventually allowed us to be here.It doesn’t really get any more exciting thanthis! These first stars would have beenenormous —several hundred or evena thousand times moremassive thanthe Sun The First St ars in t he Universe
  7. 7. UNAWE: Universe in a Box  Educational Kit  Low-cost materials  Localizable with UNAWE Network  Easy to reproduce  Successful Kickstarter Campaign  Distribution of 1000 boxes to 1000 primary schools  2015 Scientix Prize for Best Educational Resource Ramchandani, Russo et al. 2012.
  8. 8. UNAWE: Universe in a Box
  9. 9. UNAWE: Refugee programme  Refugees in the Netherlands - 46 000  Weekly UNAWE activities for ± 30 children  Language barrier -> hands on activities
  10. 10. UNAWE: Research Background  Gender stereotypes in science education resources  STEM fields dominated by men  Influence of gender stereotypes Method  Scientix & OERcommons - 333 resources  Visuals - men, women, boys, girls  Profession - science vs not science
  11. 11. Results  More men as scientists  More women as teachers  Scientist Men: 75% Women: 25% Conclusion  Gender stereotypes in science education resources  Implement gender balance in new resources UNAWE: Research  Teacher Men: 36% Women: 64%
  12. 12. UNAWE: Research Recommendations for new resources  Balance number of men and women (and number of boys and girls)  Equal portrayal regarding type of profession & activities  Gender balance in stories & language Recommendations for teaching  Use different context of science topics  Teaching methods  Assessment methods
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