UNIVERSE AWARENESS                 Inspiring Young Children            CORNERSTONE PROJECT for IYA 2009Sarah LevinUniverse...
ASTRONOMY OUTREACH IN            DEVELOPING COUNTRIES• SAAO/SALT space camps• IUCCA-Children’s Science Centre• Global Hand...
Inspiring children with their beautiful                     universe•   Local context•   Ethno-astronomical heritage•   Re...
MEGA CONCEPTS“The universe is everything you see,you know, or you can imagine exists around us, as far as you can possibly...
LEARNING THROUGH PLAY• Learning from birth• Different ways of knowing• Birthdays         Dr Spitzer and M51 (JPL)         ...
UNAWE Approach to developing                  materials• Inspiration is paramount    -Emphasis on play and fun•   Bottom-u...
Pilot Projects• Venezuela:   – UNESCO Schools network, Astronomy community, Ministry of Science      and Education• Tunisi...
COLOMBIA• Motivated communityof self-taught astronomers• Experience with street kids• Local entrepreneur                  ...
SOUTH AFRICA                     • Strong movement promoting                      indigenous role models                  ...
International Pilot Activities• Lunar Eclipse March 2007    – Skypecast: ~ 15 countries 4 continents, ~ 60 people aged 7 -...
MORE INFORMATIONhttp://www.UNAWE.org/                        11
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Universe Awareness - Inspiring Young Children

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"Universe Awareness - Inspiring Young Children"
S. Levin

Presented at: Communicating Astronomy with the Public 2007 (CAP 2007)
Athens, Greece
Date: October 9, 2007

Published in: Education, Technology
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Universe Awareness - Inspiring Young Children

  1. 1. UNIVERSE AWARENESS Inspiring Young Children CORNERSTONE PROJECT for IYA 2009Sarah LevinUniverse Awareness Athens, October 9, 2007http://www.unawe.org/ Is ‘Hubble’ really a household word?Astronomy outreach programmes successfully convey the excitement of science to the public• Popular• Numerous• Diverse• Limited 1
  2. 2. ASTRONOMY OUTREACH IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES• SAAO/SALT space camps• IUCCA-Children’s Science Centre• Global Hands on Universe UNIVERSE AWARENESS (UNAWE) Initiative for a worldwide scientific culture. Exposes very young (ages 4 - 10) disadvantaged children to the inspirational aspects of astronomy.Aims to• Broaden their world view• Awaken the scientific mind• Stimulate internationalism and tolerance 2
  3. 3. Inspiring children with their beautiful universe• Local context• Ethno-astronomical heritage• Regional folklore• Cultural pride Plus• Exposure to alternative views• Affirmation of commonality Why very young disadvantaged children• Basic knowledge of the universe is a birthright• Ages 4 - 10 are crucial for critical thinking and a personal/social value system• Benefit most from ECCE• Early intervention increases chances of continuing basic education• Includes support and education of carers• ‘Poor’ communities have ‘rich’ skies• UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Universal Primary Education Gender Equality in Primary School 3
  4. 4. MEGA CONCEPTS“The universe is everything you see,you know, or you can imagine exists around us, as far as you can possibly think”Vasiliki Spiliotopoulos INITIAL KNOWLEDGE• Not blank slates• Innate, naïve and observed understanding 4
  5. 5. LEARNING THROUGH PLAY• Learning from birth• Different ways of knowing• Birthdays Dr Spitzer and M51 (JPL) 5
  6. 6. UNAWE Approach to developing materials• Inspiration is paramount -Emphasis on play and fun• Bottom-up approach - Driven by the needs of the local communities and educators – Delivered using local means of transmission – Local means of production/distribution• The advantage of diversity Ingredients of UNAWE• Materials – Games, Cartoons, Activities – Developed by educators – Produced/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 ideas, experience and materials 6
  7. 7. 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, Student volunteers, Open days INDIATNSF/Pratham• Who- street kids, child labourers, informal education, the ‘nowhere’ children.• How Holistic literacy, health, hygiene campaigns• What-street theatre,traditional song cycles, backs of buses, comics• Respect/ sensitivity to local cultural ruleEclipse Awareness campaigns 7
  8. 8. COLOMBIA• Motivated communityof self-taught astronomers• Experience with street kids• Local entrepreneur VENEZUELA• ( Refer to Dr. Cecilia de Scorza)• -Teacher training workshops• - Gov’t policy conducive to• science outreach to the poor 8
  9. 9. SOUTH AFRICA • Strong movement promoting indigenous role models • DST committed to communicating astronomy TUNISIA• City of Sciences• Science Caravan•Gov’t organized youthclubs•Teacher training workshops 9
  10. 10. 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 and IYA 2009• Full implementation by 2009• ‘The Universe in a Box’ (incl ‘Galileoscope’)• Books, songs, posters, games• Cartoons, adventure animation films• UNAWE-produced -adopted -recommended 10
  11. 11. MORE INFORMATIONhttp://www.UNAWE.org/ 11

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