Lorentz Center - Astronomy to Inspire and Educate Young Children: EU Universe Awareness Workshop from 26 Mar 2012 through 30 Mar 2012
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    Astronomy to Inspire and Educate Young Children: EU Universe Awareness Workshop
    from 26 Mar 2012 through 30 Mar 2012

 

In Memoriam: Franco Pacini (1939 2012); (link to: http://www.unawe.org/updates/unawe-update-1211/)

 

EU-Universe Awareness (EU-UNAWE) is a global programme instigated at Leiden Observatory that uses the inspirational aspects of astronomy for the education of underprivileged children aged 4 10 years. The Universe is a unique vehicle for capturing the imagination of very young children and giving them a sense of perspective when their value systems are being formed. EU-UNAWE aims to (i) introduce very young children to the excitement of science, (ii) broaden the mind and stimulate global citizenship. Because it captures the interest and excitement of young children, astronomy can stimulate education in a holistic broader sense, e.g. by using space-based themes to further language and numerical skills.

 

The workshop will bring together active members of the network and experts to share ideas, techniques and resources that have been developed thus far. A goal is to consolidate existing astronomy education and communication resources for very young children internationally, to develop new prototype EU-UNAWE materials and the training tools needed for educators to effectively transmit them.

 

Topics to be covered and expected outcome

 

Several topics are planned for discussion. During the next half-year, depending on developments in the EU-UNAWE project, a few of these topics will be selected for in-depth coverage. For the different topics some specific outcomes are expected. These outcomes will be published in the final report of the workshop. The emphasis on these outcomes will be always on its usefulness for curriculum, material and activities development.

 

1. Curricula for different ages and cultural backgrounds

Topics (awareness of the sky, solar system, galaxy and beyond)

EUNAWE and stages of child development

Role in inspiration

Role in developing cognitive skills

Short and long programmes

 

2. Evaluation and Assessment of EU-NAWE and related programmes

Measuring effectiveness on comprehension and attitudes

Short-term and long-term measurements

Control samples and follow-up

Consequences for the curricula

Evaluation tools and metrics

Lessons learned from past and on-going UNAWE programmes

 

3. Training teachers

Coping with apprehension about science and building self-confidence

Exciting and inspiring the teachers

 

4. Materials and delivery

Hands-on demonstration materials, games and toys1

Multimedia materials (including films, websites, social networks and multiplatform)

Reinforcing the message via branding and repetition

Role of mobile planetaria and science centres

Class twinning

The production chain

 

5. Environmental differences and commonalities

Rural versus urban

Reaching parents and family

Reaching underprivileged communities in basic and advanced environments

Exchange of experiences from Africa, Asia, Europe and North and South America

6. EU-UNAWE and global capacity building

Inspiration of children as a tool for international development

Role of UNAWE in producing future scientists and engineers

UNAWE to redress gender imbalance

Continuity after UNAWE

 

7. EU-UNAWE and cultural matters

Role of indigenous archaeoastronomy in motivating children

Role of arts in astronomy education

Techniques for dealing with myths astrology and religion

 

 



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