Recently more than 136 kg of astronomy resources travelled from a garage in Racine in the United States of America to Arusha in Tanzania, East Africa. The 12 telescopes and teaching resources will be used by the Telescopes to Tanzania programme, a project run by Astronomers Without Borders that is supported by both Universe Awareness (UNAWE) and the Galileo Teacher Training Program.
Tanzania is one of the world's developing countries and education there is currently limited by a lack of basic resources, like text books and equipment. In many schools astronomy is taught without telescopes, chemistry without labs and geography without maps. The Telescopes to Tanzania effort aims to train teachers and build student capacity in mathematics, geography and, above all, science. The project provides the tools for an exciting hands-on approach to learning. It uses academic skills the students need to become the future teachers, scientists and even potential world leaders.
This November a team made up of Susan Murabana and Mponda Malozo, the national project coordinators for UNAWE programmes in Kenya and Tanzania, together with the founders of the Telescope to Tanzania programme, Sue and Chuck Ruehle, will travel to Tanzania for two weeks to work with 80 teachers at Mwangaza Partnership for Education Centre in Arusha.
This teacher training event will offer tutorials on astronomical programmes such as Cellestia and Stellarium, astronomy image manipulation and data analysis. There will be training sessions in how to set-up and operate telescopes and observing the night sky, including information on sky maps, latitude and longitude, moon phases, light pollution and much more. Educators will be taught about the electromagnetic spectrum, how to observe the Sun and the Solar System. On top of this, almost €4,000 worth of resources will be shared with teachers from over 25 schools to help them implement their training.
To learn more about the Telescopes to Tanzania programme or to support the work, visit the website here.