Universe Awareness


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"Universe Awareness"
C. Odman

Presented at: Royal Astronomical Society Meeting
March 2007

Published in: Education, Technology
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Universe Awareness

  1. 1. UNIVERSE AWARENESS UNAWE Carolina Ödman odman@strw.leidenuniv.nl odman@strw. leidenuniv. http://www.unawe.org/ http://www.unawe.org/ Royal Astronomical Society, London, March 9 2007 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 their perspective – Enhance their understanding of the world – Demonstrate the power of rational thought• By broadening children’s minds, UNAWE will help stimulate tolerance and internationalism 1
  2. 2. 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 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 2
  3. 3. GOALS OF UNAWE• Communicate the beauty and scale of the Universe to young children – Excite and broaden their perspectives – 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, Universe 3
  4. 4. INGREDIENTS OF UNAWE• Material Games, cartoons, songs, hands-on material • Entertaining and developed by professionals (ECD/didactics) • Translated into various languages and cultures• Training • Dialogue, dissemination, feedback, evaluation • Tailored to each country and community• International Network • Communication between teachers and development professionals worldwide • Exchange of ideas, experience and materials • Coordination of independant initatives PROGRAMME • 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 • Culturally relevant: Involve indigenous cultures and their astronomy 4
  5. 5. 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… PILOT PROJECTS 2006: VENEZUELA& TUNISIA• 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 5
  6. 6. UNAWE, A GLOBAL INITIATIVE Team of >20 nationalities with many teachers• EU: Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom• Non-EU: Chile, Colombia, India, Indonesia, South Africa, Tunisia, Venezuela UNAWE in the UK• UK situation: – Very multicultural – Marginalised urban communities• Large number of excellent outreach initatives – Capitalise on expertise and experience – Existing networks/programmes – Unifying efforts for 2009• UNAWE can complement and piggy-back on existing instruments – Target group: 4 - 10, underprivileged – Philosophy: Astronomy as a tool for peace 6
  7. 7. HOPE TO SEE YOU AT NAM 2007 http://www.unawe.org/ email odman@strw.leidenuniv.nl 7