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Special Seminar and Workshop

Wed 22nd Nov 2006

Following Professor George Miley's presentation at the 7th October 2005 meeting of the ASGI (Dublin City University) concerning the UNAWE project, the Armagh Observatory is pleased to host a special information seminar and workshop on the UNAWE project, on Wednesday 22nd November 2006. All members of the ASGI and other interested parties are invited to attend.

The Seminar is entitled:

"Universe Awareness: Inspiring young children with the Beautiful Universe"

It will take place from 11:15 - 12:30 in the Armagh Observatory Library, and the talk will be given by the UNAWE Project Manager Coordinator:

Dr Carolina Odman, Leiden Observatory, The Netherlands

The Seminar will be followed by lunch at the Observatory, and an afternoon of informal discussions surrounding the UNAWE project. The meeting will finish no later than 16:00.

All interested parties are invited to attend the seminar and subsequent discussion. A light buffet lunch will be provided at the Observatory for participants.

If you plan to attend the seminar and subsequent discussion, please e-mail Aileen McKee (ambnarm.ac.uk) as soon as possible to facilitate our local preparations.

More information about the UNAWE project is available at www.universearawrenes.nl.

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Summary of Carolina Odman's Presentation:

Universe Awareness (UNAWE) is an activity designed to expose economically disadvantaged young children, aged between 4 and 10 years, to inspirational aspects of astronomy. By conveying a feeling for the scale and beauty of the Universe the main goal of UNAWE is to broaden the minds of young children, thereby helping to form tolerant and internationally minded adults. Additional goals of UNAWE are to enhance the childrens understanding of the world and to demonstrate the power of rational thought.

From the dawn of history, the beauty of the sky and its intimate connection with the development of human civilization have inspired countless generations with a sense of wonderment. Astronomy is a unique discipline for inspiring young children and imbuing them with an appreciation of both science and culture. Not only does astronomy involve the natural sciences and cutting-edge technology, but it also has strong links to philosophy, the arts and human development. Modern astronomy continues to play a unique role in conveying the excitement of science to the general public.

Universe Awareness is targeted at a group that has often been neglected by outreach programs, namely underprivileged children from 4 years upwards. UNAWE is being developed as a "Bottom-up" programme. We shall carry out or participate in projects in several countries starting in 2009, proclaimed as the International Year of Astronomy by the IAU and UNESCO. Ingredients of the programme include the development of country-specific materials, the provision of training and an international network for communication by teachers and others involved in the programme. After presenting the international programme, I will discuss the many ways in which Ireland is an attractive country for the development and implementation UNAWE for 2009.

A report of the Armagh UNAWE meeting is available in .pdf format here and on the UNAWE web site.

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Last Revised: 2006 December 14th
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