Taking Astronomy to Rural kids in Nigeria

by Galileo Teacher Training Program
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Help transporting a team of young astronomers to Nigeria's rural schools.

  Education, Astronomy

Global for Local is a free program supported by Galileo Teacher Training Program (GTTP) to provide aid (at no cost) to small astronomy education and outreach projects that with a little funding can make a huge difference in local struggling communities. 

We were contacted by Olayinka Fagbemiro, an astronomy educator Abuja, Nigeria that wishes to find support for transporting a team of young astronomers to Nigeria's rural schools to teach astronomy.   

Here is their story.

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by Olayinka Fagbemiro 

Our project is called 'Taking Astronomy to Rural kids' and we want to bring a team of Astronomers and Space Scientists in a visit to inspire rural school children in Nigeria. 

A cross section of Elementary School Kids listening to a Powerpoint presentation by an Astronomer during an Astronomy Schools Workshop Organized by the Team in Abuja.

 

We have had Astronomy Schools' Workshops in the past but realised only urban school children were able to attend. Most schools in rural parts of Nigeria are not able to transport their pupils to events holding in the city centres, thereby depriving these rural kids of being exposed to Astronomy. This project is focused on taking Astronomy to the rural areas and we need funding for transporting a team of young Astronomers, by road, to these rural schools.

So far, we have volunteer Astronomers and Scientists who are very excited about visiting these rural schools to teach astronomy to children and train the science teachers as well. Also, we have been able to secure some donations of astronomy teaching aids, hands-on resources for use at these schools. We have had local and national press interviews and articles about our past activities with school children and we are sure we would get a reasonable media coverage for this project also. We always acknowledge our donors in our press briefings.

 

School kids using solar filters to view a partial eclipse in one of our many centres across Nigeria during a partial solar eclipse in the country.

We are the Nigeria chapter of UNAWE (Universe Awareness). We are a team of young and enthusiastic Astronomers and Space Scientists who have been involved in Astronomy Outreach activities in Schools across Nigeria. We have reached out to thousands of School kids and hundreds of science teachers since inception about five years ago. We realised Astronomy is missing in Schools curricula in Nigeria and our aim is to help the school kids so they don't miss out on the fun of Astronomy. And to also inspire them to study STEM.

 

A cross section of High School students listening with rapt attention to an Astronomy presentation at an Astronomy  Schools' Workshop in Abuja.

Our target is to reach out to about a 1000 rural school children and about  a 100 science teachers in around  50 schools across the region. We hope our visits will help demystify the myths surrounding astronomy in these rural villages and thereby encourage their teachers to pay more attention to topics relating to astronomy in their science curricula.

 

 

  Budget Breakdown

The funding required will help us fund the following transportation costs:

We plan on visiting three regions, where we will choose a central School where  kids from other schools will converge for the visit. The cost of petrol is about 50cents per litre

Transport from  Abuja to Anyigba, Kogi State @ approx. $150 Transport from  Abuja to  Ile-Ife @ approx.$250
Transport from Abuja to Nyanya @ approx.$100

 

  Risks and Challenges

We need help with funds for road transportation for this team of Astronomers to visit these local, mostly remote schools in rural parts of Nigeria, the people that are volunteering their time and resources to help take Astronomy to these children from less privileged backgrounds. The kids are going to be taught astronomy, their science teachers trained and some hands-on activities will be carried out in the schools.

 

With about $500, it will be possible to transport the team by road to different remote villages in these rural areas. We hope to make it a daily trip, where possible in order to cut down on the cost of accommodation and feeding which we are sourcing elsewhere.

Team

Taking Astronomy to Rural kids in Nigeria

Help transporting a team of young astronomers to Nigeria's rural schools.