Help us inspire children in Namibia!
If it were up to the astronomers at Radboud University, Namibia will be part of leading astronomy research in just a few years’ time. The Africa Millimetre Telescope that they plan to build there will be part of the telescope network that published the very first picture of a black hole in April 2019. To inspire a future generation of Namibian scientists and engineers to be part of this, Radboud University would like to take a mobile planetarium to Namibia. The infrastructure and expertise are already there; now we need the planetarium, and that is where you come in.
How can you inspire people to take an interest in the stars? Well, it’s quite simple: by taking the stars to the people, starting with the children. In the mobile planetarium, we can take schoolchildren and students on a fascinating journey through the universe, introducing them to incredible phenomena and challenging them to broaden their horizons. This is a tried and tested approach that has been successful not just in the Netherlands, but also during a brief pilot in Namibia.
The mobile planetarium is an inflatable dome inside which interactive films of the stars and the wonders of the universe are projected onto its surface. It is ideal for use both in primary and secondary schools, as these projections can be adapted to the age and the interests of the viewer. The dome is large enough for a whole class, has its own generator, and is suitable for any location.
Visit every school in five years
Jaap Vreeling, the man behind the mobile planetarium programme in the Netherlands, is ready to visit schools together with local partners. The ambitious aim is to visit every school in Namibia in five years. The planetarium will visit each school for one week, and every pupil and teacher in the school will take part in the journey through the universe. Teachers will also be given a training programme so that they can continue to inspire their classes for the rest of the year. This will hugely increase the programme’s impact.
You have a part to play
Help us to bring this mobile planetarium to thousands of Namibian children, to inspire pupils and students and to broaden their horizon. We need € 25,000 to purchase the mobile planetarium. All contributions are welcome, and together we can do this. Thank you for your support!
One of our project partners is NOVA, the Netherlands Research School for Astronomy, which has a lot of experience in bringing mobile planetaria to schools in the Netherlands. In Namibia, our partners are the University of Namibia, which will provide local expertise, and the Rössing Foundation, which has over 40 years of experience with educational support and over five years of experience with a mobile laboratory that supports English, mathematics and the natural sciences.
For more information about black holes, the Africa Millimetre Telescope and the education and outreach programme of which the mobile planetarium is a part, please go to www.ru.nl/amt or read the following articles at Radboud Recharge: