Presentation of UNAWE


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"Presentation of UNAWE"
Claus Madsen

Introduction to the Universe Awareness programme. Presented at 2nd UNAWE International Workshop.

(Date: October 2006)

Published in: Education
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Presentation of UNAWE

  1. 1. UNIVERSE AWARENESS UNAWE 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 rational thought 1
  2. 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 WHY ASTRONOMY?• Astronomy is Science• Astronomy is Culture and Human Development• Astronomy is Multidisciplinary• Astronomy is Exciting• Harnessing Science (Education) for Peace 2
  3. 3. GOALS OF UNAWE• Communicate the beauty and scale of the Universe to young children – Excite and broaden their minds – Help develop a “world view”• 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 cultures and educators• General approach – Earth awareness and citizenship, membership of a diverse human family – Awareness of the Sun, planets, solar system, galaxy, the Universe 3
  4. 4. CHARACTERISTICS OF UNAWE• Underprivileged children in diverse environments – Basic, intermediate, advanced – Europe (e.g. inner cities) and Emerging countries• Modular and phased – Will take account of stages in child development• Exploits ethnic heritage of astronomy – Intangible cultural heritage INGREDIENTS OF UNAWE• Material – Games, Cartoons, Songs, Hands-on material – Developed by professionals – Translated into various languages• 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 4
  5. 5. EDUCATIONAL ASPECTS MODULAR STRUCTURE• Age groups – Levels of cognitive development• Programme lengths and delivery methods – Remote areas vs. Inner cities – Educator training, standalone programmes• Topics• Methods – Culturally relevant: Involve indigenous cultures and their astronomy 5
  6. 6. MATERIAL• 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 skies CORE TOPICS• Sky Awareness – Observation and awareness• Earth Awareness, Earth Citizenship – Seasons or no seasons – Diverse Human Family – Cultural diversity by comparison• Solar System, Constellations and Planets – Scales, Comparative approach – Environmental awareness• The Galaxy and the Exotic Universe – Adventure! 6
  7. 7. METHODS• Direct observations – Familiarisation• Hands-on activities – Appropriation• Playing and singing stories and myths – Experience• Twinning activities, interactive software – Exchange and real-life experience• Large input from local cultures TEACHER TRAINING• Training of Local Coordinators – Central contact point – Bottom-up approach: Making the programme theirs• Role – Supervise programme in specific region – Maintain contact with schools and teachers – Take part in the development and the evaluation of UNAWE• Practical Aspects – Training course by UNAWE – Approach will differ for each region 7
  8. 8. BACKGROUND AND TIMELINE BIRTH OF AN IDEA• 2003 George Miley awarded a KNAW professorship• 2004 Informal discussions• May 2005 1st UNAWE multidisciplinary workshop, ESO, Germany – International Steering Committee and 2 sub-committees set up.• September 2005 Project Manager appointed• October 2005: Meeting at UNESCO in Paris• April 2006: Meeting in Heidelberg• August 2006: Formal launch of UNAWE at the IAU XXVI General Assembly• October 2006: 2nd UNAWE multidisciplinary workshop 8
  9. 9. TIMELINE 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 PREPARATION DEVELOPMENT IMPLEMENTATION EVALUATION• 2009 – At least 4 Emerging countries and 4 EU member states – International Year of Astronomy… UNAWE, A GLOBAL INITIATIVE 9
  10. 10. WHO WE ARE Team of 26 people of 15 nationalities with many teachersInternational Steering Committee Education Sub-Committee- George Miley (Leiden, Netherlands) - Cecilia Scorza- Claus Madsen (ESO) Organisation Sub-Committee - Carmen Aleman- Cecilia Scorza (Heidelberg, Germany) - Gonzalo Argandona- Isa Baud (Amsterdam, Netherlands) - Alec Boksenberg - Chandra Fernando- Alec Boksenberg (Cambridge, UK) - Marina Joubert - Birthe Kirknæs- Karl Sarnow,(Brussels, Belgium) - Claus Madsen - Jesper Kirknæs - George Miley - Naoufel Ben MaaouiaProject Manager - Bernat Martinez- Carolina Ödman, Leiden, Netherlands - Premana W. Premadi - Rosa M. RosVenezuela National Action Committee Tunisia National Action Committee - Karl Sarnow - Eloy Sira - Cecilia Scorza - Naoufel Ben Maaouia - Henri Boffin - Andres Cedeno - Marlene Morales Sueke - Abdelkader Oueslati - Richard West - Franco della Prugna - Marie Rådbo - Douglas Pierce-Price CONTACTS AND COLLABORATORS • EU: – Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom • Non-EU: – Chile, Colombia, India, Indonesia, South Africa, Tunisia, Ukraine, USA, Venezuela 10
  11. 11. ENDORSEMENTS• Prof. Ron Ekers, Fmr. President of the International Astronomical Union• Prof. Riccardo Giacconi, 2002 Nobel Prize winner• Sir Martin Rees (Baron Rees of Ludlow), President of the UK’s Royal Society• Prof. Joseph Taylor, 1993 Nobel Prize winner• Prof. Charles Townes, 1964 Nobel Prize winner• Sir Bob Geldof, Entertainer and Development Aid Fundraiser• Prof. Federico Mayor, President, Foundation for the Culture of Peace, [former Director General of UNESCO (1987-99)]• Prof. Michel Mayor, First discoverer of extra-solar planets ENDORSING ORGANISATIONS• International Astronomical Union (IAU)• European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO)• European Schoolnet (EUN)• European Association for Astronomy Education (EAAE)• Royal Netherlands Academy for Arts and Sciences (KNAW)• Leiden University (UL)• LOFAR Foundation• Universität Heidelberg (ZAH)• Netherlands Foundation for Research in Astronomy (ASTRON)• Netherlands Organisation for Space Research (SRON)• Netherlands Research School in Astronomy (NOVA) 11
  12. 12. 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 – Inclusion of other partner countries THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION! 12