26.08.2011 13:57 Age: 2 yrs
Category: SAAO Press Releases
By: Enrico Olivier
The Universe Awareness (UNAWE) programme, with which the S.A. Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) is intimately involved, has been honoured with the Science Prize for Online Resources in Education (SPORE) award. Science Magazine introduced the SPORE award as a means to showcase the best educational resources that are available on the Internet and to bring them to a wider audience.
The SAAO's involvement in the UNAWE programme has been very strong, and recently received EU funding to ensure the continuation of the programme locally, with the SAAO responsible for hosting the local manager for UNAWE. "We are delighted to hear about SPORE award. UNAWE focuses on young disadvantaged children and with its activities we are succeeding in awakening their curiosity, stimulating their interest in science and also encouraging them to appreciate the multicultural origins of astronomy, particularly, Africa's contribution to science", said Sivuyile Manxoyi, manager of the SALT Collateral Benefits Programme at SAAO.
The prize goes to Dr. Carolina Ödman-Govender the developer of the UNAWE programme. Dr. Ödman-Govender has worked in science for development for many years, before joining the South African Astronomical Observatory and the African Institute for Mathematical Science (AIMS) in 2010. She is now holding the position of director of academic development of the AIMS – Next Einstein Initiative (AIMS – NEI). “One of the key features of UNAWE is its openness, it is a form of crowd-sourced education. A vast network of educators contribute educational materials and resources, which are uploaded to the UNAWE website. They can then be distributed, adapted and translated for use in other countries”, says Carolina who is passionate about openness and availability of education.
UNAWE is an international programme that uses the beauty and grandeur of the Universe to inspire children aged 4-10 years, particularly those from an underprivileged background. The programme uses astronomy to cultivate a sense of perspective, foster a global citizenship and stimulate interest in science at a crucial age in a child’s development. The UNAWE website hosts a vast repository of educational materials that are produced by the programme’s network of almost 500 educators and astronomers in 40 countries – one of the biggest international networks of science educators. UNAWE is a programme endorsed by the International Astronomical Union (IAU).
For UNAWE press release see: www.unawe.org/press/UNAWE1103/
For IAU press release see: www.iau.org/public_press/news/detail/iau1104/
For AIMS-NEI press release see: http://www.nexteinstein.org/aims-nei-director-of-academic-development-awarded-prestigious-science-education-prize-by-science-magazine
Dr. Enrico Olivier
SAAO, PO Box 9, Observatory, 7935, South Africa
Tel: +27 21 447 0025
Ms. Linda Camara
African Institute for Mathematical Sciences
6 Melrose Rd, Muizenberg, 7945, South Africa
Tel: + 27 21 787 9263
Fax: + 27 21 787 9321
AIMS - NEI
Ms. Vicky Mbalo
AIMS – NEI Secretariat
5 Hillcrest road, Muizenberg, 7945, South Africa
Tel: +27 21 709 0617