Great Andaman Astronomy Outreach Programme — 2024 Report

Democrazily Science May 25, 2024

The Great Andaman Outreach Programme aimed to engage students and youth in astronomy-based activities to foster interest in science and technology. Organized by the Open Space Foundation in association with Whistlingwoods farm lounge, the event took place from April 22nd to April 27th, 2024, in the picturesque Andaman Islands. The primary objective was to inspire curiosity and learning through hands-on experiences in astronomy, thereby promoting STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) education among participants. This engaging event brought together 351 students across various locations in Andaman, offering them the unique opportunity to observe the sky through telescopes for the first time.

Activities conducted during the Great Andaman Astronomy Outreach

The event featured various engaging activities designed to immerse participants in the wonders of astronomy. Sky observation sessions allowed attendees to marvel at celestial bodies and deepen their understanding of the universe. A telescope construction workshop provided a unique opportunity for practical learning, empowering participants to build their telescopes and explore the cosmos first-hand. Daytime astronomy including solar and sunspot observations were also conducted. These hands-on and interactive activities not only educated, but also motivated students by fostering a sense of accomplishment and curiosity.

Astronomy as a Gateway to STEAM Education Improvement and Development Opportunities

Astronomy serves as a powerful gateway to STEAM education, offering interdisciplinary learning opportunities across various fields. By integrating astronomy into educational curricula, students develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills essential for success in the modern world. Furthermore, astronomy presents numerous development opportunities, including technological innovation, research advancement, and societal progress. By nurturing an interest in astronomy, the Andaman Outreach Programme sought to unlock the vast potential of STEAM education and contribute to broader development goals.

DateProgrammeNumber of Participants
21st April 2024Moon observation in Hotel Dhivyam in lamba lane, Port Blair Telescope used : RL127NDS6
22nd April 2024Telescope assembly workshop and daytime astronomy observation for BEd students of Tagore Govt. College of Education (TGCE), Port Blair Telescope used : 10 unit Rr40NS & RL127NDS51
23rd April 2024Solar Observation & Telescope Assembling Workshop at Bathu Basthi Govt. Senior Secondary School Telescope used : 10 unit Rr40NS & RL127NDS46
24th April 2024Solar Observation & Telescope Assemble Workshop at Govt. Primary School, South creek, Baratang Community Night Sky Observation Telescope used : 10 unit Rr40NS & RL127NDS28 students 25 community members
26th April 2024Solar Observation at Government Secondary School, Burmanallah 115 students
27th April 2024Solar Observation & Telescope Assemble Workshop at Mahathma Gandhi International School, Brookshabad, Port Blair80 students

Potential of Andaman's Clear Skies:

The Andaman Islands, renowned for their pristine environment and clear skies, hold immense potential for astronomy-based initiatives. The region's favourable atmospheric conditions make it an ideal location for stargazing and astronomical observations. Leveraging this natural advantage can attract tourists and create employment opportunities for local youth in the fields of tourism, research, and education. Preserving Andaman's night sky through collaborative efforts is crucial for safeguarding the region's environment and promoting sustainable economic growth. The Open Space Foundation's intervention can play a pivotal role in unlocking the potential of Andaman's clear skies. By organizing outreach programmes and educational initiatives focused on astronomy, the foundation can further raise awareness about the importance of preserving the night sky and promote sustainable practices among local communities and stakeholders. Through advocacy and community engagement, OSF projects can focus towards establishing Andaman as a hub for astronomy-based tourism and research, contributing to the region's economic development while ensuring the conservation of its natural resources.

Future Collaboration and Recurring Outreach Events:

The success of the Great Andaman Outreach Programme underscores the importance of continued collaboration and engagement. Future initiatives could involve partnerships with educational institutions, government agencies, and community organizations to expand outreach efforts and reach a broader audience. Establishing recurring outreach events ensures sustained impact and fosters long-term interest in astronomy and STEAM education among Andaman's youth. Here are the three major domains Open Space Foundation can further contribute in;

  • Recurring astronomy outreach events and  citizen science-based research opportunities
  • Teacher Training and Capacity Building in STEAM subjects
  • Youth Leadership Development and Volunteer Management, capacity building of youth in astrotourism and related fields

Special Thanks

  • Director of Education, South Andaman, Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar Islands
  • Mr. Udhay Bhasker, Director, Whistlingwoods Farm lounge, Andaman
  • Mr.  Karthik, Ecologist and Educator, Andaman
  • Teachers and students of educational institutions across south and middle Andaman Islands

Special mention for support of telescope accessories

CSTERC (Center for Science & Technology Education, Research and Communication)

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