2009 Annual Science Report

University of Hawaii, Manoa Reporting  |  JUL 2008 – AUG 2009

EPO Activity: Brazil IAU Workshop: Aug 2009

Project Progress

The astronomy and astrobiology teacher workshop was held in conjunction with the 2009 IAU meeting at the University of Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 8-9, 2009. Astronomy professor Marcelo Emilio from State University of Ponta Grossa, Parana, Brazil, organized this workshop with the assistance of Mary Ann Kadooka, UH NAI EPO lead. Through various networks and contacts, the organizers were fortunate to have support from many organizations. Keynote speaker Pedro Russo, IYA 2009 Secretariat from Portugal, gave a presentation on “Galileo’s 400th Anniversary” and Karen Jean Meech, UH Institute for Astronomy, lectured fluently in Spanish on an “Introduction to Astrobiology”. Sessions included real time remote observing on the Faulkes Telescope located at Halealaka Observatories on Maui in Hawaii, Dark Skies program, Galileoscope Teacher Training Program (GTTP) by Portugal astronomers Rosa Doran and Maria Almeida, image processing for astronomy, and others. Astrobiology posters and other NASA materials were passed out to the grateful teachers. It was gratifying to have 29 teachers come from other cities in Brazil besides Rio de Janeiro. A Sao Paulo physics teacher drove for 6 hours to attend and wished the workshop could be longer than 2 days. Brazil includes geography teachers in science workshops. Recruitment was very successful due to Professor Joao Canalle who has successfully worked with teachers throughout the country for IYA 2009. The teacher evaluations have been compiled. All the lectures and sessions had favorable results with more than 85% of teachers approving of them.