GalileoMobile is on the road again! After just over a year since our last expedition, Khagol Rath, that was carried out in India in the areas between Bangalore and Mysore, we are embarking on a new journey, this time in Uganda. The expedition, named “In the Land of Beauty”, after the Ugandan national anthem, is our first in the African continent.
The adventure started more than one year and a half ago, when we were contacted by Sarah Reed, who wished to promote a science education and teacher training expedition between Uganda and Ethiopia to celebrate the World Space Week 2012. Due to an Ebola outbreak in Kampala and initial financial limitations, the project had to be delayed for about twelve months, and the trip was confined to Uganda, specifically to the central region of Kampala and the eastern region of Mbale. It is viewed as a pilot project, where experience will be gathered and contacts will be made in view of future expeditions. Collaborations with universities in Uganda, and visits to Kenya and Tanzania have been already foreseen.
Three team members will be in Kampala on the 18th and 19th of September to participate in the conference “Engaging Young People in Science and Technology”. We will give a talk about our project, will present a Café Scientifique session for about 125 students from 15 schools, local scientists and 19 internationals from United Kingdom, Portugal, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya and Cameroon (totalling about 160 people). We will also carry out workshops for teachers and activities for students.
Following the conference, the expedition will start on the 23rd of September, and it will last for two weeks. An international team, formed of four GalileoMobile members (from Italy, Portugal, Switzerland and Brazil), two film producers (from Italy), a local collaborator and a driver (from Uganda), will share a van that everyday will depart from Kampala to visit a school. Based on our previous expeditions, we decided to stay two days in each school, in order to maximize the time we spend with the teachers and the students.
A typical day will consist of a short presentation of the group, workshops for teachers (related to experimental physics and astronomy, and endorsed by the Galileo Teachers Training Program) and activities with the students. We will work in close collaboration with the teachers in order to carry out the activities with the students. The day will end with sky observations and/or a Café Scientifique session. These sessions consist of a short presentation about an astronomy subject, followed by open questions. After visiting three secondary schools in the region of Kampala (Ndejje S. S. in Bombo Town, Nabisunsa Girls and St. Kizito in Kampala City), the team will travel to Mbale, where two more schools (St. Paul’s College and Mbale Senior Secondary School) will be visited, before the end of the expedition on the 4th of October. The visit to a primary school for visually impaired kids is also foreseen, employing material developed by our partners A touch of the Universe.
The expedition was shaped with the invaluable contribution of Betty Kituyi Mukhalu and Duncan Dallas from Café Scientifique – Uganda, who made the contacts with the local schools, helped in the building of the roadmap and took care of most of the logistics of the trip.
We would also like to acknowledge the following persons and institutions, whose help and support was inestimable — we all envision the same will of sharing astronomy, science, knowledge and culture under a same sky, without borders!
- Ghazali Mohammed
- Rosa Doran
- Chuck Ruehle
- Mponda Malozo
- Suran Murabana
- Sarah Reed
- Carina Vieira
- Adriana Uribe
- Universe Awareness
- Museu de Astronomia e Ciências Afins
The project is founded by the following institutions: