Letters of Intent received in 2018

LoI 2020-2034
Education and Heritage in the Era of Big Data in Astronomy. The first steps on the IAU 2020-2030 Strategic Plan

Date: 9 December 2020 to 14 December 2020
Location: Bariloche (río Negro)/San Martín de los Andes (Neuquen), Argentina
Contact: Beatriz Garcia (beatriz.garcia@iteda.cnea.gov.ar)
Coordinating division: Division C Education, Outreach and Heritage
Other divisions: Division A Fundamental Astronomy
Division B Facilities, Technologies and Data Science
Division E Sun and Heliosphere
Division F Planetary Systems and Astrobiology
Co-Chairs of SOC: Julio Fernández (Facultad de Ciencias Dept. de Astronomía)
Patricio Rojo (Universidad de Chile/SOCHIAS)
Andrea Sosa (Universidad de la República Grupo de Ciencias Fisicas)
Leonardo Pellizza (Instituto Argentino de Radioastronomía/AAA)
Beatriz Garcia (ITeDA, UTN)
Co-Chairs of LOC: Mariana Orellana (Universidad Nac. de Río Negro, Bariloche)
Nestor Camino (Universidad Nac. San Juan Bosco, Esquel)
Elise Servajean (Universidad de Chile)
Santiago Paolantonio (Universidad Nac. de Córdoba)
Nicolás Maffione (Universidad Nac. de Río Negro, Bariloche)



• State-of-the-art of astronomy education in countries/continents in the frame of the 2020-2030 IAU plan.
• Meta-analysis of astronomy education research on contents/school grade levels/focus on education cross studies
• Literacy in Astronomy.
• Use of Astronomy Education Research experiments and results by teachers and in non formal education activities (museum, planetarium, etc)
• Innovations in education methodologies and instrumentation
• Measuring museum and planetarium learning and impact
• Research into the value and influence of astronomy education in other disciplines
• Interplay of students’ world views with the world view of science in a globalizing world
• Big Data in education
• Astronomy as interdisciplinary approach to science education in all levels.
• Inclusive education in Astronomy
• Cultural Astronomy
• Heritage and education: from Stonehenge to the Space telescopes.



A. Introduction

Astronomy education has become a main topic into the IAU goals. Scientific results from this field have great potential to enhance the teaching and learning of Astronomy for learners of many ages.

As part of the long term Strategic Plan 2020-2030, the IAU’s activities will be center around 8 main areas :

I. Stimulation and facilitation of sharing astronomical knowledge among professional astronomers;
II. Coordination of professional tasks and interactions with other fields at the professional level;
III. Recognition of excellence in astronomy through prizes;
IV. Fostering inclusiveness in the advancement of astronomy;
V. Facilitation of the advancement of the next generation of astronomers and scientists;
VI. Stimulation of global development through the use of astronomy;
VII. Engagement with the public in astronomy;
VIII. Use of astronomy to stimulate teaching and education at school level.

And, taking into account two of the Goals of this Strategic Plan :

1. The IAU leads the worldwide coordination of astronomy and the fostering of communication and dissemination of astronomical knowledge among professional astronomers,
2. the IAU stimulates the use of astronomy for teaching and education at school level,

we considered that in this framework, new results and research methodologies from the cognition and learning sciences domains are now able to influence the work of astronomy educators, enabling them to make informed innovations for the teaching of astronomy and are part of the bases to reach the IAU objectives.
On the other hand an in general, professional astronomers who have responsibilities that include teaching are not aware of the results of astronomy education research, and this Symposium can help expand attendee's awareness of results, as well as providing a forum for active scholars in astronomy education to jointly plan the research agenda for the upcoming decade. The central objective of the meeting is aiming at an increase of the quality and impact of astronomy education.
In addition, the occurrence of the total solar eclipse that will cross the Patagonia on December 14, 2020 is an incentive for all the assistants and the observation of the event at the end of the Symposium, a great “closing ceremony”.

B. Purpose and Goals

The primary goal of this Symposium is to give perhaps for the first time a global vision of Education and Heritage in the frame of the goals of the IAU, taking into account the Plan 2020-2030 and to propose an eventual ‘next steps’ road map and a global astronomy education agenda for the next decade, while honoring the education from the past. In this sense, foster inclusiveness in the advancement of astronomy and facilitate the advancement of the next generation of astronomers and scientists, through encourage the use of new methods of learning and best practices in pedagogy at university level, as well as the use of the astronomy for teaching and education at school level are part of the definitions of the proposed Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE), which also pursuits the establishment of a network of NAECs to provide accessible materials and astronomy literacy guidelines globally. All this topics are part of the goals of this symposium.
This symposium will feature key speakers who are international leaders in discipline-based education in astronomy and the planetary science, but also in Communication and History. Contributed Talks are solicited from astronomers and other researchers who have conducted astronomy education activities during the past years, with a particular emphasis on teaching innovation. This Symposium will be especially valuable to those astronomers who are actively involved in teaching, education, and outreach, thinking the education as a possibility to establish bridges between researchers and educators, showing the interdisciplinary characteristics of our discipline and its power to teach and learn about Sciences in general and to promote the development on the Globe, assuring the protection of the heritage, including the dark sky.

Note: Our intention is to include more people at the SOC, at the moment the following IAU members have confirmed their participation: Jay Pasachoff (Williams College Hopkins Observatory, USA), John Hearnshaw (University of Canterbury Physics-Astronomy Department, New Zeeland), Rosa Ros (Universidad Politectica de Catalunia, Spain), Boonrucksar Soonthornthum, National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand.