Colombo, Sri Lanka
| I started learning Astronomy in my childhood. Because I always had curiosity about the Sun, Moon & stars. I always liked to see the night sky. I then joined my school astronomy society. Then I started to learn astronomy related topics. After that I joined Astronomy & Space Study Center in Sri Lanka. It's a very good place to learn astronomy in Sri Lanka. I have participated in lots of lectures, workshops and night sky observations camps there. So I learnt a lot about astronomy, night sky observation, etc. Then I started my higher education in Information Technology. I've completed my degree in year 2012. Then I started working.
After 2012 I have also contributed to the Astronomy and Space Study Center as a lecturer and organizer. We have done lot of out reach activities in Sri Lanka like public lectures, monthly night sky observation camps, astronomy workshops for school children and etc. Yearly we are doing 30-40 night camps for school children for free of charge. We have lot of senior members who were helped us to move forward.
Now I am the National Coordinator of Sri Lanka for AWB. So we have done various projects to children, public and private organizations. We have done Astrophotography workshops, Moon observation camps, sidewalk astronomy projects and astronomy outreach projects.
| I became the National Coordinator for AWB in Nigeria in 2013. Even though, I had been involved in Astronomy Outreach programs as a Scientific Officer at the Nigerian Space Agency, AWB provided a platform to reach out to more school kids.
I work with a team of highly dedicated and extremely passionate Astronomers and Space Scientists, who have been working really hard to make sure we reach out to more students across Nigeria. We have been reaching out to a large number of school kids in Nigeria over the past 3 years as AWB, we are always excited about the positive impact we're making in the lives of school kids across Nigeria.
We organise hands-on training for the students, and intermittently organise a train-the-trainer workshop for their science teachers.
We're right now having a series of school visits tagged ''Taking Astronomy to Rural Kids''. The essence of this project is to take Astronomy to rural kids who are not able to attend Astronomy events we organise in the city centres. Many of these rural schools do not have funds to transport their kids to our events, so in order for them to not miss out on the fun of Astronomy, we take Astronomy to their door steps!
It's been so much fun for the kids, we demistify the myths surrounding Astronomy among rural dwellers, carry out hands-on activities and also encourage and train their teachers on how to reproduce/replicate some of out teaching resources using locally sourced materials.
Through our activities, we have been able to record marked improvement in the performances of the students in STEM, and there have been an increase in girl-child school enrolments, through our female mentorship program, where we allow our female Astronomers and Scientists speak to parents on the importance of enrolling their girl- children in school.
We have been faced with a lot of challenges, from funding to lack of sufficient teaching aids, but we're never discouraged, seeing the impacts we're making in these kids, keep us going.
Thanks to AWB.
| My passion for astronomy started with space when I was 11 and saw 2001 for the first time, a month before the Apollo 8 flight. The Apollo era was extremely exciting for us! I also knew English (through mom). Astronomy has various aspects: objects are very far away and not harmful, we don't learn astronomy at school which means no obligations and there is constantly something new in that field. We also realize how insignificant we are but the very fact we can understand more and more , uplifts us. I Wonder what's going on the worlds around the stars of Omega Centauri or what the vew would be from Charon.So many worlds to find out about. It's about curiosity.
Casablanca , Morocco
| Since my early childhood I have been fascinated by astronomy and optical instruments that had the magic power of magnification.
The International Year of Astronomy 2009 was certainly a turning point in the history of astronomy. Hundred of millions of people around the world participated in astronomical events and activities around the world.
During that memorable year I worked in partnership with the national commission of UNESCO to launch Aldebaran Project ( project for creation of school astronomy clubs in Morocco). Shortly after, I joined Astronomers Without Borders as National Coordinator.
I think that promoting astronomy in schools is one of the most effective way to reach children minds and help them to discover astronomy and appreciate it.
From another angle, in the face of the challenge posed by climate change, teaching astronomy and integrating it in the Education for Sustainable Development could help children to be more aware of the fragility of life on earth and its uniqueness.