Universe Awareness

9 - 13 October 2006

Venue: Lorentz Center@Oort

If you are invited or already registered for this workshop, you have received login details by email.

This interdisciplinary workshop will form an integral part of the development of the “Universe Awareness” (UNAWE) programme. The goal of UNAWE is to give very young children a feeling for the enormity and beauty of the Universe, in order to broaden their minds and stimulate their world-view.

UNAWE will target disadvantaged children, aged between 4 and 10 years, in the emerging world and in Europe. UNAWE will develop material and provide training, tailored to each individual country, with close involvement of local teachers and other professionals. Children will be involved actively and their imagination stimulated by means of games, adventure films and songs. Programmes will be developed for delivery in diverse environments, starting in 2009. Aspects of local culture and history will be incorporated into the “curriculum”. UNAWE environments range from a “basic environment”, for which no formal schooling is available before ages 7 – 8 and access to modern educational tools is limited to an “advanced environment”, for which schooling begins at ages 4 – 5 and for which Internet is widely available. More information about UNAWE can be found on the Universe Awareness website:


The second UNAWE workshop is being be co-sponsored by the European Southern Observatory. It will bring together astronomers, outreach professionals, educators, early childhood specialists, experts in development and primary school teachers from a large number of countries to discuss and work on the development of UNAWE.

The detailed programme is being finalised. Relevant topics include:

UNAWE “Curriculum”

-           Child development

-           Inspiration and development of cognitive skills

UNAWE Materials

-           Games and toys

-           Animation films

-           Branding and repetition

UNAWE Training

-           Coordinators in various environments

-           Training methods

Aspects of UNAWE in basic environments

-           Short programmes

-           Delivery methods

-           Role of community leaders, parents and family

Aspects of UNAWE in advanced environments

-           Material for computers and Internet

-           Class twinning

UNAWE and ethnocultural matters

-           Indigenous archeoastronomy

-           Intangible cultural heritage

-           Dealing with astrology and religion

Assessment and Evaluation of UNAWE

-           Methods

-           Cultural validity

-           Control samples and follow-up

UNAWE Target Regions

-           Optimum targets

-           Formation of National Action Committees

-           Feasible number of children

Country and language-specific sessions:

-           UNAWE in the Netherlands: Synergies with the “Verandering” programme

-           UNAWE in the Spanish-speaking world: Venezuela, Spain, Chile


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