Astronomy day with Saharawi children and their host families on Tenerife

Participants in the outreach day held at the MCC and the IAC in the framework of Amanar and " Vacaciones en Paz" 2023, together with some of the organisers. Credit: Inés Bonet (IAC)
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This Tuesday, 22 August, the Science Communication and Outreach Unit (UC3) of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) and the Asociación Canaria de Amistad con el Pueblo Saharaui (ACAPS), in collaboration with the Museo de la Ciencia y el Cosmos (MCC, Museos de Tenerife), organised a day of outreach activities as part of the "Vacaciones en Paz" (Holidays in Peace) programme and the Amanar project. Saharawi children and their host families in Tenerife, a total of 28 participants, enjoyed talks and workshops on astronomy, solar observations and guided tours at the MCC, as well as visiting the IAC headquarters in La Laguna.

The day began with a welcome to the MCC by its Director, Héctor Socas, followed by a participatory talk on astronomy and the Canary Islands Observatories, given by Nayra Rodríguez, outreach specialist and coordinator of educational projects at the IAC and member of Amanar since its launch in 2019.

Afterwards, two workshops were held: one on the Sun-Earth-Moon system, developed by Nayra Rodríguez, and another on the Sun, including observations of our star with a CosmoLab telescope, given by Irene Puerto, coordinator of this project at the IAC.

At mid-morning, the participants visited the IAC headquarters, close to the Museum, where they were welcomed by the Director of the Institute, Rafael Rebolo, and some members of the UC3, and were offered breakfast in the cafeteria.

The day continued at the MCC with a visit to the temporary exhibition "Ceniza y Lava" on the scientific research into the Tajogaite eruption on La Palma, guided by the Museum's outreach specialist Andrea Rodríguez, as well as to various modules of the MCC, led by Alejandra Goded, outreach specialist for the PETeR and NRT projects at the IAC.

The activities are part of the Amanar project, which in 2023 are taking place between July and August in A Coruña, Barcelona, Granada-Almería, Madrid, Sagunto and Tenerife. The activities are free of charge and are aimed at Sahrawi schoolchildren participating in the "Vacaciones en Paz" programme and their host families in Spain.

Amanar is an astronomy outreach project that seeks to share this exciting science with the Saharawi population of the refugee camps in Tindouf, Algeria. The initiative pays special attention to children, young people and teachers in order to awaken their interest in science, contribute to strengthening their resilience, highlight the Saharawi knowledge of the sky and foster a sense of unity under the same sky.

The project was born in 2019 as a collaboration between the international organisation GalileoMobile and ACAPS, with the support of the IAC and the IAU's Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD), as well as other collaborating institutions and associations.

The 2023 activity in Tenerife has been funded by Museos de Tenerife, the IAC, the IAU OAD and NOC offices and the Europlanet society.

More information:

AMANAR project website

Vacaciones en Paz project website (in Spanish)


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