Astronomy for a Better World...Message of IAU...

15/09/2011 00:15
 
Dear IAU Members and others interested in contributing to Astronomy for
a Better World.
    

This is to draw your attention to the message from the IAU Office of
Astronomy for Development (OAD) in the latest IAU Information Bulletin.


The OAD is compiling list of potential volunteers willing to contribute to
the IAU capacity building activities described in the IAU Strategic Plan.
Astronomy for the Developing World 2010 – 2020: Building from IYA 2009.
http://iau.org/static/education/strategicplan_091001.pdf


It aims to use astronomy as a tool to stimulate development at all levels
including primary, secondary and tertiary education, science research and
the public understanding of science.


Present and planned activities include:

        #Building Research Capacity and university education
        # Schools for university students
        # Long-term visits to institutes in developing countries
        # Long-term institute twinning
        # Inspirational lectures to students on astronomy and related technologies.
     Astronomy for Schools
        # Teacher training courses
        # Development and translation of educational material for children.
     Astronomy for the Public
        # Inspirational semi-popular lectures on astronomy or related technologies
        # Activities building on IYA2009 including stargazing and engagement with
amateur groups


In addition to participation in the delivery or helping with the
organization of activities there are several general areas in which
volunteer assistance would be valuable, e.g. translation of the OAD
website into several languages.


We are particularly interested in contacting expatriates who are prepared
to help carry out development activities in their countries of origin.
Note that the strategic plan spans a ten-year period. Assessing the number
of potential volunteers, will help us gauge the scale of possible
activities, develop an effective organizational structure to run them and
provide information for fund raising campaigns. We shall gradually
increase the number of volunteers and expand the programmes in line with
funding possibilities.


We would therefore be grateful if you would complete the questionnaire for
potential volunteers at
http://www.astronomyfordevelopment.org/index.php/volunteers.You can also
reach us at info@astro4dev.org specifying as subject: “Call for
Volunteers†or contact us personally.


Very many thanks for your help.


Kevin Govender,
Director: IAU Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD)
kg@astro4dev.org


George Miley
IAU Vice President (Portfolio Development and Education)
Chair, OAD Steering Committee
miley@strw.leidenuniv.nl

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The IAU Global Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD)


The IAU, in partnership with the South African National Research
Foundation, recently established the Office of Astronomy for Development
(OAD) at the SAAO in Cape Town, South Africa. The creation of the OAD is a
significant milestone towards realising the decadal strategic plan
"Astronomy for the Developing World, Building from the IYA2009".


The vision for the OAD is simply expressed by its slogan “Astronomy for
a better world." It aims to use astronomy as a tool to stimulate
development at all levels including primary, secondary and tertiary
education, science research and the public understanding of science.


The OAD currently has two staff members and the search is underway for the
third. We have issued a call for expressions of interest for institutions
to host regional nodes, as well as a call for potential volunteers.
Besides creating regional nodes, the OAD aims to set up three task forces
to focus on (i) university education and research; (ii) young children and
school education; and (iii) public outreach. In December 2011 a workshop
will be held at the OAD for major stakeholders. The OAD will present its
activities and an account of its progress at the IAU General Assembly in
August 2012.

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