In light of recent events, the IAU has stated its deep concern over the impact of restrictive immigration procedures on astronomy, firmly discouraging any discrimination based on factors such as ethnic origin, religion, citizenship, language, and political or other opinion. Our team would like to leave here a note of strong support for this message and all those affected by these measures. We will continue to stand by our motto "Astronomy for Everyone", where astronomy education and outreach are essential elements in the dissemination of tolerance and peace by encouraging us all to aim higher than our differences and to look up united under the same night sky.
In this issue, we highlight the Asian-Pacific Regional IAU Meeting — APRIM — to be held next July in Taipei, note that this year’s World Space Week theme has been revealed, and recommend that you check out the "Resource of the Week" by the Galileo Teacher Training Program that will return during 2017.
Last but not least, we would like to thank our National Outreach Contacts and our community for continuously sharing with us their favourite national and international education and outreach news.
The IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach team
1) IAU Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) Newsletter #15
The IAU OAD Newsletter #15 is online. It is issued quarterly by the IAU Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) and in it you can learn about the latest activities of the OAD. Highlights of this issue include the OAD Yearbook 2016 and the First Workshop on Astronomy for Accessibility and Inclusion.
2) 13th Asian-Pacific Regional IAU Meeting (APRIM 2017)
The 13th Asian-Pacific Regional IAU Meeting (APRIM 2017) will be held at the International Convention Center in Taipei, from 3–7 July 2017. The Asian-Pacific Regional IAU Meetings are authorised by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) with the aim of promoting scientific activity and collaboration in the Asian-Pacific region. Astronomy in the country has grown exponentially in the past 25 years and the community enthusiastically welcomes astronomer colleagues and friends to attend. One of the chosen themes this year is “Public Education, Outreach, and Diversity” and we encourage everyone in the education and outreach community to participate. The deadline for submission of abstracts is 1 March 2017.
3) National Outreach Contact (NOC) Corner: News from Australia
a) Cosmic Stars 2017 ACT Astronomy and Space Science Education Conference
Registration is now open for the inaugural Cosmic Stars 2017 ACT Astronomy and Space Science Education Conference. The conference will be held on Saturday 4 March 2017 and provides teachers and pre-service teachers with a unique K - 12 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) learning opportunity. The attendees will be able to enjoy numerous activities from four strands of presentations covering topics and a number of planetarium sessions using the host organisation's (Giralang Primary School) portable planetarium.
4) National Outreach Contact (NOC) Corner: News from Nepal
a) Pre-registration for the 4th National Astronomy Olympiad 2017 now open
The National Astronomy Olympiad Program is an educational program run by the Nepal Astronomical Society (NASO) and the ESPRO Foundation to encourage Nepalese students to pursue further studies in physics, maths, astronomy & space sciences. The goal of this program is to provide school students with a basic knowledge of astronomy, selecting and preparing them to participate in the annual Olympiad in Astronomy and Astrophysics (http://www.ioaa2016.in/). Registration is available during February 2017.
b) All-Nepal Asteroid Search Campaign
The Nepal Astronomical Society (NASO), in association with the International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC), gives Nepalese school and university students the opportunity to participate in hands-on astronomy activities and to make original astronomical discoveries in Nepal. The asteroid search campaign was introduced in Nepal in 2012 as the “SGAC Asteroid Search Campaign”, targeting university students only. In 2016, the program was extended to high school students and thanks to the positive outcomes, the 2017 call is now open to both high school and university students. The next campaign is running from 19 January to 18 February, 2017.
5) Galileo Teacher Training Program - Resource of the Week
The Galileo Teacher Training Program "Resource of the Week" will continue throughout 2017. Every week teachers will have access to an inquiry-based resource which they can use in a classroom context. Each of the educational resources is carefully selected from major repositories such as Go-Lab, Inspiring Science Education, and astroEDU, and is accompanied by a lesson plan that gives the educator guidelines on how to implement the resource in class. During February you can find: Neutron Stars; Light Street Audition; Sinking and Floating; and Evening Sky Watching for Students.
6) New Space Awareness Massive Open Online Course (MOOCs)
Since early times, the observation of the sky has been an essential element of all cultures and has played an important role in the way we live. To provide teachers with support on how to use the Navigation theme in the context of space and astronomy, as a vehicle and as an inspiration for students, Space Awareness is launching the new MOOC “Navigation through the ages”. Space Awareness is an international project targeting children and teenagers all over Europe, providing them with information on space-related subjects. Registration is now open.
The National Space Society (NSS) is looking for student artists to create original illustrations for the NSS Roadmap to Space Settlement. Submitted artwork should realistically illustrate one of 2017's two themes: People Living and Working in Space Settlements or Medicine and Medical Manufacturing in Space. By realistic, the organisation means as accurate as possible both in science and engineering terms and as closely as possible to what a real space settlement would look like. The contest is open to all full-time students between the ages of 12 and 25. Deadline for submissions is 16 March 2017 (at 11:59 pm UT).
The United Nations General Assembly declared in 1999 that World Space Week would be held each year from 4–10 October, as an international celebration of science and technology and their contribution to the betterment of the human condition. The 2017 Theme is “Exploring New Worlds in Space”, an outward-facing theme that focuses on: astrobiology missions; feats of engineering; and revolutionary space technology projects with the ultimate goal of enabling people to inhabit other planets. Learn how to join in with WSW 2017 via the simple advice on "How to Organise a World Space Week Event”.
e) 10th International Meeting of Astronomy and Astronautics
Date: 6–8 April 2017
Location: Campos, RJ, Brazil
More Information: http://bit.ly/2e3Gj5k
f) Making the Case: Outreach & Communications for Large, International Science Projects
Date: 11–13 April 2017
Location: Pasadena, CA, USA
More information: http://conference.ipac.caltech.edu/wepoc2017
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11) Contributions to this newsletter - looking forward to hearing from you in 2017!
Here at the IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach, we are always looking for more news about astronomical education and outreach events around the world. Please continue to share your stories with us in 2017! If you are organising any large-scale events at a regional or international level, offering astronomy education or communication job positions, have any innovative projects or inspiring stories, looking for professional–amateur collaboration in astronomy, or have created any educational resources, let us know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.