Asp 2012 Meeting - UNAWE presentation


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The EU Universe Awareness (EU-UNAWE) programme uses the beauty and grandeur of the cosmos to encourage young children, particularly those from underprivileged backgrounds, to develop an interest in science and technology and to foster a sense of global citizenship. EU-UNAWE is already active in 40 countries and comprises a global network of almost 500 astronomers, teachers and other educators. In 2011, the programme was awarded a grant of 1.9 million euros by the European Union so that it can be further developed in five European countries and South Africa. This grant is being used to organise teacher training workshops and to develop educational materials, such as an astronomy news service for children and games.
During this presentation we will outline some of the biggest achievements of EU-UNAWE to date, such as being awarded Science Magazines prestigious SPORE award, the development of a new online astronomy education resource repository, the development of the low-cost astronomy activity kit Universe in a Box and the launch and successful expansion of their astronomy news service for children; Space Scoop. Over the course of a year, Space Scoop has become the biggest and best resource for astronomy news for children, with partnerships with six top-level astronomy institutes (like NASA and ESO) around the world and releases now being available in 16 languages. Moreover EU-UNAWE teacher training has reached 375 teachers in 2011, and its activities have reached more than 15 000 children in the same year. In this presentation we will also discuss future plans for the programme.

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Asp 2012 Meeting - UNAWE presentation

  1. 1. Inspiring every child with our wonderful cosmosWouter Schrier, National Project ManagerUNAWE/Leiden University, NLe. schrier@strw.leidenuniv.nlt. @unawe | @wouterschrierf.
  2. 2. Universe Awareness Astronomy-based program with social goals Exposing disadvantaged young children (ages 4 to 10) to the inspirational aspects of astronomy
  3. 3. VisionUse perspective, inspiration and fun of astronomy to: - Introduce young children to the excitement of science - Enhance their understanding of the world and demonstrate power of rational thought - Broaden children’s minds - Stimulate world citizenship and tolerance
  4. 4. EU-UNAWE FP7: in 2011 E.U. awarded UNAWE 1.9 million euros to fund the 3-year program EU-UNAWE in 6 countriesThe Netherlands Germany The UK Spain Italy South-Africa 1. International Network - Platform for teachers and development of professionals worldwide - Exchange of ideas, experience and materials - Coordinators and managers in each participating country, tailored to each country/community 2. Educational Material - Games, cartoons, songs, hands-on material - Needs to be FUN and INTERACTIVE 3. Teacher Training - Give teachers the confidence to introduce astronomy and other science topics in their classrooms - Teacher = strong multiplier
  5. 5. 1. Network 38 Countries (6 EU-UNAWE) 500+ Educators/Teachers/Astronomers
  6. 6. 1. Network• International website:
  7. 7. 2. Educational material • Online resources: open-source (creative commons license) • August 2011: Science Magazine’s SPORE Science Award Science Prize for Online Resources in Education Showcase of best educational resources available online‘Deadly Moons’
  8. 8. 2. Educational materialSpace Scoop: - Astronomy news service for children aged 8+ - Collaboration with ESO, NASA Chandra, Europlanet, ... - Share with children the excitement that the latest scientific discoveries bring - Demonstrate that there is still much to learn about the Universe – research that they could contribute to in the future - Translations in 16 Languages
  9. 9. Educational material ‘Universe in a Box’
  10. 10. 2. Educational material ‘Universe in a Box’ Resonates with UNAWE’s mission of didactic, interdisciplinary, and cultural content LocalizableModular and Low-cost Easy to with UNAWECustomizable Materials Reproduce Network
  11. 11. 3. Teacher Training• Multiple teacher trainings per country each year:  Give teachers confidence through hands-on astronomy activities  ~ 30 teachers per session ~ 600-900 students per session# teachers trained in 6 countries: 450+# children reached by teachers trained (~numbers): 15 000+
  12. 12. Wouter Call for collaboration Funded by Consortium Part of Armagh Observatory