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It’s wonderful to see teachers leaving our training events with more confidence to tackle astronomy in the classroom.

Westra van Holthe, EU-UNAWE in the Netherlands

EU Universe Awareness International Workshop 2013: Astronomy to Inspire and Educate Young Children

7 - 11 October 2013

House of Astronomy, Heidelberg, Germany 


The EU Universe Awareness International Workshop 2013 will bring together educators, teachers, astronomers, active members of the UNAWE network and experts, to share ideas, techniques and resources that have been developed by the programme thus far. One goal is to consolidate existing UNAWE astronomy education and communication resources for very young children. Participants will also discuss, in depth, role of astronomy and space science in early childhood development, curricula development and evaluation. Evaluating the long-term effectiveness of exposing very young children to inspirational and motivational astronomy activities will also be discussed.

Main Scientific Topics

  • Early Childhood Development
  • Educational Curricula
  • Evaluation and Assessment


Monday, 7 October

  • 9:00 - 10:00: Registration & Coffee

  • 10:00 - 11:30: Welcome and Tour of House of Astronomy

    • Markus Pössel

    • Cecilia Scorza

    • Natalie Fischer

  • 11:30 - 12:30: UNAWE International Workshop: Introduction and Expectations by Pedro Russo

  • 12:30 - 14:00: Lunch

  • 14:00 - 17:30: Educational Resources Fair with Children (Fair showcasing a selection educational resources. The best resource, as voted by participants, will win an Explore Scientific AR102 UNAWE Edition Telescope)

  • 15:00 Children visit the fair

  • 15:30 - 17:30: Official Opening

    • Short Presentation with children

    • Dr. Phil. H. C., Dr.-Ing. E. H. Klaus Tschira

    • Prof. Dr. Matthias Steinmetz (President-Elect German Astronomical Society)

    • Prof. Dr. Thomas Henning (Director, Max Planck Institut Astronomie, Heidelberg, Germany

    • Prof. Dr. Joachim Wambsganss (ZAH, Heidelberg, Germany)

    • Prof. Dr. George Miley (Leiden University, EU Universe Awareness) (Video message)


Tuesday, 8 October

Universe Awareness & Early Childhood Development

  • 9:30 - 10:30: Children’s Understanding of the Earth and Gravity by Alan Martin (University of Buckingham, UK)

  • 10:30 - 11:00: Children’s Intuitive Physics by Sabina Pauen (University Heidelberg, Germany)

  • 11:00 - 11:30: Coffee break

  • 11:30 - 11:45: The EU-UNAWE  Activities in the UK by Libby McKearney (EU-UNAWE UK)

  • 11:45 - 12:00: Simply…Complex by Marco Costa (University of Torino, Italy)

  • 12:30 - 14:00: Lunch

  • 14:00 - 17:00: Working Groups

1. Early Childhood Development by Cecilia Scorza and Anke Sturm

2. Curricula Development by Natalie Fischer and Cecilia Scorza

3. Evaluation and Assessment by Grace Kimble

  • 17:00 - 17:30 : Results from working groups


Wednesday, 9 October

Universe Awareness & Curricula

  • 9:30 - 10:30 Building a Foundation: Astronomy in the Curriculum by Mary Kay Hemenway (University of Texas)

  • 10:30 - 11:00: Innovative Methods for Engaging Children through Storytelling and Games by Lara Albanese and Alessandra Zanazzi (EU-UNAWE Italy)

  • 11:00 - 11:30: Coffee break

  • 11:30 - 12:00: Universe in a Box by Cecilia Scorza (EU-UNAWE Germany)

  • 12:00 - 12:30: Astronomy in the Spanish Curricula by Fabregat, J., Arisa, E. (EU-UNAWE Spain) & Pérez, M. (Casa de las Ciéncias, A Coruña, Spain)

  • 12:30 - 14:00: Lunch

  • 14:00 - 17:00: Working groups

  • 17:00 - 17:30: Results from working groups

  • 20:00: Workshop dinner: Palmbräu Gasse, Hauptstraße 185 in Heidelberg

Thursday, 10 October

Evaluation and Assessment

  • 9:30 - 10:30: Evaluation of Informal Science Education by James Bradburne, Lara Albanese and Alessandra Zanazzi (Palazzo Strozzi and EU-UNAWE, Italy)

  • 10:30 - 11:00: Science for Street Children - Results of a Long Term Developmental Project in Science Education by Manuela Welzel (Pedagogical University Heidelberg, Germany)

  • 11:00 - 11:30: Coffee break

  • 11:30 - 12:00: EU-UNAWE’s Evaluation: Preliminary Results by Grace Kimble (EU-UNAWE)

  • 12:00 - 14:00: Networking Lunch

  • 14:00 - 17:00: Working groups

  • 17:00 - 17:30 : Results from working groups

Friday, 11 October

Lessons Learned & Future

  • 9:30 - 10:30: Short talks:
    • UNAWE in Tunisia by Imen Titouhi
    • Explorable Story Project by Martha Sedgwick
    • CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science Educational Programmes by Robert Hollow
    • Meet our Neighbours! - A tactile experience by Lina Canas
    • Transit of Venus in Ambon (Indonesia) by Avivah Yamani
    • UNAWE activities in Brazil by Livia Aceto
    • The Universe in My School by Ivo Jokin
    • IAU Office of Astronomy for Development by JC Mauduit 
    • UNAWE-Monagas (Venezuela): Progress and Prospects by Freddy Oropeza 
    • Astronomy with Children with Disabilities by Soheila Nadalipour and Alireza Vafa
    • From Children to Children: “Sobha Kakulu” exhibition in Sri Lanka by Thilina Heenatigala
    • astroEDU Sneak Peek by Edward Gomez & Pedro Russo

  • 10:30 - 11:00: The Future of Universe Awareness by Pedro Russo (EU-UNAWE)

  • 11:00 - 11:30: Coffee break

  • 11:30 - 12:30: Results from working groups

  • 12:30 - 14:00: Lunch

  • 14:00 - 15:30: UNAWE cultural event

Workshops Overview

Workshop on Early Childhood Development by Cecilia Scorza and Anke Sturm

During the workshop, participants will gain important insights on early childhood development according to children´s ages that could be relevant for the implementation of EU-UNAWE. The workshop will consist on the introduction of the following concepts:

  • Conceptual thinking and the ideas about the Earth

  • Causal thinking and explanations of astronomical phenomena

  • Impact/Influence of the parents on the children

Workshop on Curricula Development by Natalie Fischer and Cecilia Scorza

During this workshop participants will develop together contents that can be easily adapted to school curricula. The workshop will consist on the introduction of the following concepts:

  • From the Sun to the watch (observing shadows)

  • From the pencil to the Galaxy (imagining distances and sizes)

  • The uniqueness of the Earth (formation of the Earth, development of life on Earth, UNAWE and natural environment)

Workshop on Evaluation by Grace Kimble

The evaluation working group will cover the following topics: current international educational evaluation context; examples of good practice, methods, and report writing. These sessions will require participation and discussion, as they are intended to give an opportunity to hear examples from a range of places and understand different approaches. The sessions will be supported by a wiki so that you can contribute questions, evaluation materials for discussion and key issues in advance, if you wish. You will go away with examples to try, an overview of others’ work, and a presentation so that you can share what you have learnt with colleagues at your institution.


Travel Logistics


If you need an official invitation in order to obtain a VISA, please contact Sigrid Brümmer.

How to reach Heidelberg and House of Astronomy

For any tourist information, see Heidelberg Tourist web page.

By plane

By train

Heidelberg is easy to reach by ICE and IC/EC train. The Rhine-Neckar public transport system makes travelling easy throughout the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan region. To reach Königstuhl from the main train station.

By car

The motorways A5/A6, with interconnected highways, serve much of the greater Rhine-Neckar metro region. Motorways A5/A6, direct motorway on-ramps and exits from/to Heidelberg via the A5/A656.

More information how to reach House of Astronomy can be found here:

Note: During the workshop a shuttle service between the city and the House of Astronomy will be available for free to all participants. 

Hotel Info

Hotel   Single  Double
Hotel Central   75.00  
Hotel IBIS   73.00 83.00
Hotel Kohler   65.00  
Hotel Kohler   75.00 88.00
Hotelo   75.00 75.00
Hotelo   56.00  
Leonardo Hotel Heidelberg City Center   118.00  


For reservations please contact the hotel diretcly. Please use booking reference: EU-UNAWE.

Breakfast is included in the price.

There are more possibilities on the room-rental service airbnb.


Scientific Organising Committee (SOC)

  • George Miley  (the Netherlands, Co-Chair)
  • Carolina Ödman-Govender (South Africa)
  • Claus Madsen (ESO)
  • Cecilia Scorza (Germany, Co-Chair)
  • Kevin Govender (IAU)
  • Andreas Quirrenbach (Germany)
  • Jaime Fabregat (Spain)
  • Filippo Mannucci (Italy)
  • Mark Bailey (United Kingdom)
  • Sivuyile Manxoyi (South Africa)
  • Pedro Russo (the Netherlands, Co-Chair)

Local Organising Committee (LOC)

  • Cecilia Scorza (Chair)
  • Natalie Fischer
  • Pedro Russo
  • Sigrid Brümmer