Space Education Workshop

Space Education Workshops Held in Tanzania

As part of the UNESCO program, and in collaboration with the Tanzania National Commission for UNESCO, two one-day Space Education workshops were conducted in Tanzania on 5th and 7th May in Dar es Salaam and Arusha respectively. The target of the workshops were teachers students and policy makers. On 5th May, several schools in Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar and three Universities (Open University of Tanzania, University of Dar es Salaam and Sokoine University of Agriculture) participated, while the workshop in Arusha was directed towards schools in that area.

The workshop was opened by the Deputy Minister of Education and Vocational Training who pledged the to support Space Education in Tanzania in order to improve teaching of basic sciences. The tourist potential of exploiting the dark skies in Tanzania was also noted. The meeting was also attended by the Director of the UNESCO office in Dar es Salaam.

Six Mead ETX 90 telescopes were donated by UNESCO to the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training for distribution to schools two each in Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar and Arusha.

For a media coverage report see

At a wind up meeting after the meeting it was agreed that in order to develop and sustain space and astronomy education in schools through Astronomy Clubs and into curricula, teachers were recognised as key player and their initiative was sought. Dr Jiwaji would act as a resource person to train teachers in Astronomy. Teachers in all schools are called upon to form astronomy clubs in schools and organise stargazing activities for students and training of teachers, and to request Dr Jiwaji to teach.

7th May 2008 

 Observations on the workshop by one of the Participants

By  Mr Mponda Mazolo

Second Year Student of Environmental Science

Sokoine University of Agriculture.

Despite the fact that I got late to attend the workshop because of distance and traffic from Morogoro but from where I had to catch up, I benefited a lot and I would like to share that with you and all who are going to get chance to pass through this.
I was so interested in the topic presented by Nigerian presenter concerning remote sensing and that is because he has added new facts which I never knew before, and that is microwaves, the way they are used in modern GIS system. I am taking this course at the university but we only covered infrared, visible range and UV rays. As this microwave is the more recent technology and has capability to remove clouds obstruction it was real amazing thing to me and made me pass through more articles talking about it on the Internet. With this GIS presentation from Nigeria, I was like in class again and recalling everything that has to do with GIS and remote sensing. From his presentation he helped get more uses of GIS and remote sensing in today's world. I was also happy to know about Nigerian progress on space activities like the first image of hurricane Katrina taken by Landsat 1.  That is a summary of what I have captured from his presentation and am in good position to speak about it to anybody as it really caught my attention.
Thereafter we had another presentation of Modern Astronomy, this was even more exciting to me as I never knew much of the things which were explained by presenter. From modern astronomy I came to know efforts that had been put forward by scientist in order to make this modern astronomy easy and more accessible to every individual regardless of the age, through the use of Internet. I think this shows the great sacrifice humans have made in order to bring changes to the society.  From the presentation we saw many trials that had been put forward by men before he succeeded to move to outer space. I got to understand about Faulkes telescope and contribution made by Faulkes himself on the development of modern astronomy, future plans of LCOGIN in making easy observation of space in linking with computer and Internet development in the world. This to me shows the heart of giving that all human should have for the benefit of human nature. Since I am taking environmental science at SUA I did not leave the workshop without hearing something concerning me and this was really new thing to me. It was the terminology light pollution which makes sky not seen clearly in cities like Tokyo and Los Angels due to too much light which is coming from streets and building. There were a lot of potential websites which were displayed on the slides which could help me extend my knowledge about space.
As we are expecting to conduct Astronomical year of 2009 I got even more ideas on doing something that can attract society on knowing about space activities and make it attractive to children and other members of society. Here we manage to know about making water rocket which can be a good way of attracting young children in taking science and finally become astronomers of our country.
As being one of the participants in this workshop I managed to have a conversion with one of the astronaut who had an opportunity be in space. He shared his experience with me and all time that he had been on his study which took him eleven years but the last five years were the toughest one as he was concentrating much on space studies. He talked about determination as the major thing in making science world comes true. If it was not determination he wouldn't have make it to the space. This gives us a reason of never giving up the dreams that we have and we should always encourage others to pursue their dreams for the benefit of the whole society. He gave me his photographs with his signature: this will always remind me of never giving up my dreams. He is at the French Space agency known as Jean-Jacques Favier
The whole event was closed by practicing water Rocket launching at Tambaza High School in Dar es salaam . It was an exciting moment for all of us as we managed to have practice in water rocket launching which we had just done in theory from the presentation room. As we were provided with books and DVD which explains how the whole structure is constructed I was even happier. I knew I will go and get time to practice it with children from near by schools and make their hopes on taking science alive.
I would like to share my ideas on the areas where we shall need to see improvement so that to make this more beneficial.
I was expecting to know what my country is doing concerning astronomy because our children and other students are scared to take science subjects since they don't see good future ahead of it. This makes them not to have interest in science and decide to turn to business subjects or arts which are seen as more marketable in our country.

If government and scientist from our own country could stand and say something on what they are doing and the benefits from it, it would have been the best way to attract more student to take science and have interest in astronomy. 
13th May 2008 

** END**