Teachers from northern Chile receive astronomy training from ALMA

Teachers from northern Chile receive astronomy training from ALMA

16 January, 2014 / Read time: 2 minutes

About 50 elementary and high school teachers, mainly from Antofagasta, Calama and Iquique, participated in an astronomy workshop organized by the ALMA Observatory and the House of Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany, at the Séquitor high school, in the outskirts of San Pedro de Atacama.

"The teachers are quite open to learning astronomy concepts and eager to incorporate practical exercises to teach them," according to Olaf Fischer, a German astronomer who led the workshop along with ALMA astronomer José Gallardo.

Over two days, the teachers learned how ALMA and radio astronomy work and how observatories in Chile find objects in the sky. They also participated in practical workshops for elementary school teachers on how to build a Solar System and understand the moon phases, as well as workshops for high school teachers on electromagnetic radiation and solar phenomena. Workshop participants also went to the ALMA base camp to observe the movement of the antenna transporters and visit the observatory's laboratories and control room.

"My colleagues were thrilled and amazed," said Vilma Tapia, who headed a group of 24 participants from Antofagasta and Calama. "One of the strongest motivations for us was to reinforce learning acquired last year, as well as to visit ALMA. The observatory is located in the region where we live and as amateur astronomers, it was something we had to see for ourselves to be able to appropriately teach our students. What better than to receive training in radio astronomy from ALMA!"

At the workshop, the teachers could ask questions and obtain new materials, such as astronomy board games developed by Astromanía and a radio astronomy manual published by ALMA."The exercises we've done, along with the manual we received, will allow us to focus this year on teaching about ALMA and radio astronomy," said Yerko Chacón from the Pocuro de los Andes Observatory.

David Fábrega, a teacher from Copiapó said the experience was "unique because unlike other workshops we worked together in a practical, educational and fun way."

140116_workshop_02 140116_workshop_03 140116_workshop_04
140116_workshop_06 140116_workshop_07 140116_workshop_08


Valeria Foncea 
Education and Public Outreach Officer
Joint ALMA Observatory
Santiago, Chile
Tel: +56 2 467 6258
Cell: +56 9 75871963
Email: [email protected]