Webinar #7 - Intercultural science education on the example of the Space Awareness Islamic Heritage Kit

The webinar Intercultural science education on the example of the Space Awareness Islamic Heritage Kit took place in the Scientix online meeting room on 9th of March 2017 at 17:30 CET, Brussels time.

During this webinar participants got a review on the methodologies on science education that take into account multicultural aspects in science teaching. On the example of the Space Awareness Islamic Heritage Kit which will be released on the 10th of April the speaker demonstrated why cultural and historical aspects are the best suitable elements to enhance the self-esteem of Muslim children and to build a bridge between the Islamic World and modern space sciences and astronomy. Astronomy as a field of knowledge common to humankind seems to be ideal to build this bridge. The present materials contribute to fill the 800 years gap in the history of science by showing concrete examples of the influence of Islamic science on the development of modern astronomy, optics and space sciences.

The Space Awareness resources intend to improve the chronic underrepresentation of children from migrant communities in Europe that choose to pursue careers in science, technology and engineering. Consequently an enormous reservoir of untapped talent exists that could be mobilised for the benefit of society. Therefore the Space Awareness Program is devoting special attention to reaching out to schoolchildren in migrant communities from Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa and their teachers.

The webinar was held by Dr. Cecilia Scorza, astronomer and educationalist, with a PhD in astronomy from the University of Heidelberg. She is renowned for her expertise in astronomy education and educational resources. Cecilia works at the House of Astronomy, a unique Centre for Astronomy Education and Outreach in Heidelberg, Germany, where she develops educational materials for the University Milky Way Research Program and the EU-SPACE-AWE program in Germany. She has been closely involved with the IAU Universe Awareness Programme for disadvantaged children (UNAWE) since its inception, developed for the program “the Universe in the Box”, which is currently implemented in more than 60 countries. For this box she was awarded with the European Scientix Price 2015.  Cecilia initiated successfully the UNAWE in Germany, Venezuela and in other South American countries. She worked many years at the German SOFIA Institute (the NASA-DLR flying Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy SOFIA) in the development of an educational program. She coordinated there a German national node of high schools and developed didactical material on infrared astronomy. She has also written astronomy books for children and received the Neumann-award 2007 of the German Astronomical Society (AG) for the best didactical work with the schools. Cecilia is member of the educational commission of the IAU, the OAD and the German Astronomical Society. Currently Cecilia is developing the Islamic Heritage Kit for the EU-SPACE-AWE Program, which is addressed to children with immigrant background (in particular Muslim children) and aims for a bridge between the Islamic world and Europa.

Presentation is available for download in PDF format.

We are happy to announce that the Islamic Heritage Kit will be released in September 2017!

Check out Space Awareness resources related to the topic:

"Navigating with the Kamal"

Past webinar
Scientix online meeting room
Target group
“Navigation through the ages” MOOC participants, primary and secondary school teachers and students, educational authorities, researchers, etc.
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