Astronomy for everybody: an approach from the CASAO/NAUH view

de Carias, Maria Cristina Pineda (2008) Astronomy for everybody: an approach from the CASAO/NAUH view. In: Innovation in Astronomy Education. Cambridge University Press, pp. 262-271.

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Astronomy is a science that attracts the attention of people of all ages and from a variety of points of view and interests. At the Central America Suyapa Astronomical Observatory of the National Autonomous University of Honduras (CASAO/NAUH), in addition to the general course oflntroduction to Astronomy (AN-l I I) and the regular courses for a master's degree in Astronomy and Astrophysics, three different academic outreach programs have become important after less than a decade of experience. "Visiting CASAO/NAUH," a program for elementary and secondary schools, involves thrice-weekly astronomers' presentations to groups of from 15 to I 00 students and teachers; conferences on selected topics of astronomy, illustrated with real sky and astronomical images; opportunities to observe the Sun, Moon, and planets using a small telescope; and explanations of how contemporary astronomers do their observations, with comparisons drawn to the methods of observing used by the Maya who once inhabited Central America. On Friday nights, the "Astronomical Nights Program," intended for a general public of children, youth, and adults, involves visits to the astronomical observatory, where the visitors learn about the properties of astronomical bodies, the sky during the week, and the differences between making observations using telescopes and with the naked eye alone. "Introduction to Astronomy @Internet Program" is an online course designed not only for school teachers but also for Central American college and university students who are willing to learn more systematically on their own, using new technologies for studying the sky, the Solar System, the stars, galaxies, and the Universe. In this paper I present a complete description of these programs at CASAO/NAUH, and a discussion of how they contribute to the implementation of the IAU Resolution on the Value of Astronomy Education.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: Astronomy Education Research
Depositing User: Dr Michael Fitzgerald
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2017 10:48
Last Modified: 21 Aug 2018 06:06

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