The Aldebaran – Chronicles of the Stars Pilgrim

Conundrum of Astronomy, particularly in South East Asia

The First Indonesian’s Star Party & Universe Awareness – The Next Step

The Southern Sky Astronomy Gathering 2007 was conducted on 25th-26th of August in Stasiun Pengamat Dirgantara LAPAN (Pamulihan, Sumedang West Java). It was an event which the first time enabled astronomy goers from all around Indonesia to gather & share experiences on astronomy activities. The purpose of this activity was to give people an opportunity to learn more about astronomy and to raise public enthusiasm.

Many astronomy activities were carried out which catered for a wide range of ages, interests and backgrounds. Hopefully this step will be the beginning of astronomy popularization and awareness in Indonesia.

Several interesting talks were presented, but one of note was that presented by one of the invited speakers, Premana Premadi PhD, (lecturer from Department of Astronomy, Bandung Institute of Technology). The talk covered the concept of UnAwe (Universe Awareness). Why this is so important? UnAwe is a worldwide project which aims to expose young underprivileged children (4-10 years) to the science of astronomy. Why astronomy? Astronomy has been the inspiring idea of the beauty of the Universe for many generations of humanity. So astronomy is the universal knowledge. Astronomy is also part of every culture in itself, with the role on development of humanity, branched in many aspects from philosophy, science, technology, even art. So basically, astronomy is fun for all.

With the conscious that knowledge about the Universe is the right for every human being, we should ensure that all the children have the opportunity to have obtain atleast the basic astronomy knowledge. With this knowledge, hopefully younger generations will have an open mind which will allow them overcome any differences of culture, race, politics etc.

UnAwe has been initiatived between UNICEF & IAU (International Astronomy Union), with the goal to communicate the beauty & scale of the Universe to younger generations, to widen their mind in a fun way and help to develop the view of the world. The tool of the trade is inspirational astronomy, to develop their cognitive skills. And this program is directed to reach large numbers of children all around the world. This program is also part of UN Millenium Development Goals.

How the goals of UnAwe implemented? The principle rule to achieve the goal is based on the natural development of the children, which requires the development of a good & healthy imagination, consciousness of surroundings with objective judgment, with emphasized on play & entertainment. Since the consciousness of a persons surrounding is in it self the place where they live, they need to have an understanding of the root of their cultures & cultural heritage. However, from the local standpoint, with broadening perspectives, they can develop the consciousness of citizenship, membership of a diverse human family, as the part of humanity. The awareness also reach the place of humanity in the universe, from the microscopic level onto the macroscopic level. From atomic level onto the earth, solar system, galaxy & beyond.

The target of this program is not merely the children with under-privileged, but also the teachers, and all the supporting unit to reach the goals. The aim of the program is to reach under-privileged children, not only for the children of remote area with distance from information (intangible of good education, insufficient numbers book for study), but also like stray children from big city, but without sufficient educations, shelter nor nutrition.

The role for teacher is to bridging between goal of UnAwe with the need of local necessity. In this sense, the teachers have to keep in their mind, that the approach is bottom-up, which mean they have to make the program as theirs & unique for each locals.

So, how all these idea implemented? The basic idea for children is to introducing, what is the universe look like. The easiest way is to take them out to the nature, do the observations; so they can familiar with the awe of the universe. To develop creativity, one can develop hands-on activities. To build the conscious of surrounding can be done through playing, singing of stories, telling tell of myths, adventures or more can be implemented based on necessity and most important the input from local cultures.

Souther Sky Astronomy Gathering is one step on astronomy popularization in Indonesia. By most of astronomy goers, astronomy is profoundly the idea of beauty & amazement of the sky. Naturally, the fond of the nature is passable heritage of development for humanity. Yet, there is a sense of abject contradictions. While modern developments continue to increase human conformity, slowly the awe of nature is eroded. While industries continue to increase human welfare, the numbers of under-privileged children are increasing.

So, it is a profound idea to return to nature, for the love for the phenomena and a desire to educate and inspire the next generation to know as much about nature and the heavens as possible.

UnAwe is the next step to bring astronomy more down to earth. It could be a way to build the future. The question is, who will do it? How to do it? If the purpose is for the next generation, everyone has the obligation to do so, by national networking between every institutions & individual that conscious. Conscious to go out from stone-age policy in an elegant manner by scientific culture.

Shall we build our future together?

November 3, 2007 - Posted by | Astronomy, Culture, Nature, Social Activity, Unawe

3 Komentar »

  1. […] of childrens not just representing the basic education, but also as the preliminary project of Unawe Indonesia, and the astronaut of Malaysia bring about another amusement for […]

    Ping balik oleh Bazaar of Wonder (on Bosscha Observatory) « The Aldebaran - Chronicles of the Stars Pilgrim | Desember 19, 2007 | Balas

  2. unawe digagas oleh Bpk. George Miley bukan inisiatif UNESCO n IAU.

    Komentar oleh ivie | Februari 25, 2008 | Balas

  3. ohhh .. mea culpa! .. okey, thank you for the information. i will edit the informations after i have further data.

    Komentar oleh nggieng | Februari 27, 2008 | Balas


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