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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

Discovery Club

Discovery Club is an afterschool Science, Technology, Arts, Engineering and Mathematics programme for children that aims to inspire, educate and entertain children in (emergency) refugee centres, while providing them with a sense of much-needed normalcy. The programme is co-developed and implemented with refugees who contribute their background in science, technology and education and their knowledge of the experiences, language and culture of the children.

In 2016, Universe Awareness had implemented Discovery Club in a pilot project for children in a refugee centre in Leiden, the Netherlands. On Saturday afternoons, the children of Discovery Club met to do hands-on educational activities related to STEAM. Every weekend, the children played, learnt and discovered things about astronomy, biology, archaeology, engineering and much more. In the summer of 2018, the project started again at several refugee centers across the Netherlands.

Discovery Club harnesses the energy and skills of refugees, local volunteers and organisations to offer a diverse after school programme for children and create a space for interaction/to foster community cohesion between refugee children, parents and host communities.

An example of a course in which various astronomical properties are explained.

An example of a course in which various astronomical properties are explained.

Furthermore, it is of high importance that these children acquire a sense of global citizenship and all its components. Because, "We are the first human beings to see the planet Earth from outer space, the first to grasp the fragility of its environment and the total interdependence of our fates...", with this grasp children will acquire the ability to act "selfless, caring and helpful and respectful of others religions, cultures, races, and genders" (Ignatieff, 1995, p. 76). This is of essence for their social and intercultural awareness skills.

Finally, all children in refugee centres are faced with similar needs: thus, Discovery Club has the potential to benefit children in centres across the world. For that reason, we aim to expand through UNAWE’s network to implement Discovery Club and exchange best practices across Europe and beyond.

Get involved

If you want to take the opportunity to inspire the next generation of scientists and to help make a difference in disadvantaged communities, we are looking for volunteers who can help with the workshop activities once a week for the period July through September.

To apply please send your CV (max. 2 pages) and motivation letter (max. 1 page) in Dutch or English to Ms. Mahbobah Ahmadi, and mention in the subject line ‘Discovery Club volunteer’.

For more information, donations, questions or any tips or ideas for the project, please contact Mahbobah by either email or phone:

+31 (0)71 527 5881