Students’ Astro Journey with Macho Angani to Understand Satellites

Students from Ilboru Primary schools and their teacher Eliatosha are on an astronomy learning journey using Swahili astronomy podcasts dubbed Macho Angani that means Eyes in Sky. 

On this day they learned about Satellites, what they are, the purpose they serve, and their benefits to human kinds.  

The journey took them beyond what would be covered in class curricula, raised the interest to understand beyond what is prescribed to their level in the curricular, and triggered endless curios questions. 

An extra mile had to be taken by their teacher to search for satellite photos of different types orbiting our home planet and others. Their teacher had to use his small laptop screen to show pictures of satellites to over 140 students in his class.

It was not easy but worth it, students were happy to understand about satellites and what they do. 

In supporting this learning journey by students and their teacher at Ilboru, we look forward to supporting them with a Bluetooth rechargeable speaker and a projector. 

In each session, the class is getting bigger and bigger. More and more students are interested to join and the number of curious questions is also increasing. These are some of the challenges faced by our tireless Astro-ambassador Mr. Eliatosha Maleko.

We are looking forward to continuing working with him on this transformation learning journey. 

 

 

Macho Angani na Ufahamu wa Sayari ya Zuhura Shule ya Msingi Ilboru

Wanafunzi na Wanachama wa klabu ya Sayansi katika shule ya msingi Ilboru, wamejifunza kuhusu sayari ya Zuhura au Venus kwa kusikiliza  mfululizo wa makala za kipindi cha redio cha Macho Angani

MMAO Ambassador Eliatosha

Mwalimu wao Eliatosha Maleko ameshiriki nasi maswali ya wanafunzi hao baada ya kusikiliza kipindi hicho hapo chini.

Unaweza kusikiliza, kujifunza na kusaidia kujibu maswali ya wanafunzi hao kwa kusikiliza kipindi hicho kwa kubofya HAPA

Karibu ujifunze pamoja nasi kwa kusikilia vipindi vingine vingi vya macho angani kwa kubofya HAPA.  

MMAO Welcomes New Ambassadors

MMAO Ambassador Meeting MMAO Ambassador Meeting

Dear friends,

It is my sincere hope that all of you are doing very fine. I am happy to inform you that we have managed to meet with ambassadors today. We have discussed many things including the following.

  1. All teachers who attended the meeting have agreed to become Ambassadors for MMAO.

  2. All Ambassadors have agreed to bring their students to the observatory on a regular basis.

  3. Ambassadors will prepare Astronomical subjects according to their interest. For example a study of the solar system, use of the telescope, astronomical measurements, propagation of light, etc.

This is just some of what we have discussed.

Regards,
Elineema

Elineema, Hamuli welcome new teachers to MMAO

New Students visit MMAO

Ambassador to MMAO Elineema Nassari writes, “Yesterday was so good day at [the MMAO] observatory, we received a group of students and their teachers from Nshupu secondary school. Students and teachers learned many things about Astronomy, how to use telescope, types of telescopes, the solar system, the moon, meaning of galaxy and Milky way galaxy and how to measure distance in space (how to calculate light years). This lesson was lead by ambassador Hamuli Majeshi and myself. One among teachers asked what is the difference between constellation and galaxy. We provided answers and show them galaxies in the Cosmos series and also use Stellarium program to show them how constellation formed. They were so happy to know the differences. We were able to answer many questions from students also.”

“Teachers promised that they will arrange trips to visit the observatory and then more students will visit the observatory in future. We are sure that the observatory is in the road to provide Astronomical education to the students and the community as well.”

The biggest, brightest super Moon of 2020!

Tonight we can enjoy the biggest, brightest super-moon of 2020!

An introduction the event is provided at EarthSky

Full moons at apogee, or farthest from Earth (left) and perigee or closest to Earth (right) in 2011. Composite image by EarthSky community member C. B. Devgun in India. Thanks, C. B.! Using the eye alone, it’ll be difficult to notice any size difference in the full moon of April 7-8, 2020. But moon-watchers might notice that this is a very bright full moon! Plus Earth’s oceans will feel an extra pull.

In addition, Dan Heim provides us with a spellbinding timelapse video of the Moon taken by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). Go to How the Moon Changes for this engaging video and Dan’s full explanation.

Physics educator Dan Heim attends MMAO Ambassadors call

For more than 30 years retired high school physics instructor, amateur astronomer, and professional writer Dan Heim provided students with the joy of learning the fundamentals of physics, both here on Earth applied to the skies above.

In the fall of 2018 Dan was instrumental in rebuilding and upgrading the 12″ Cave-Cassegrain telescope now in use at the Mt. Meru Astronomical Observatory, Tanzania. He has since remained engaged with MMAO, working to guide applied science instruction at the observatory and in the classroom.

Dan guided MMAO to the freely available Harvard Project Physics text books (https://archive.org/details/projectphysicscollection), the same used in his own classrooms. Having read Unit 1 of the Physics Handbook, the MMAO Ambassadors invited Dan to join in a live SKype session, to answer questions invoked by what they had read.

Thank you Dan!

200 Students visit the observatory!

MMAO - 200 students visit the observatory After a long, seemingly endless three months of rain, the sun has come out and the students have arrived –in droves!

Zacharia writes, “Today, Pendaeli and I received 200 Confirmation students and 15 teacher from Mulala Parish which is made of three sub-parishes, Kilinga, Kyuta and Mulala itself. They came for a youth conference hosted by Ailanga and led by the Bishop of the Diocese of Meru. This is the first big group we ever received–and it was really big!

“They visited our observatory and we were able to give a short tour for them, explaining what [astronomers] do. The kids were so exited to see such a big telescope, something they never knew it is existing. For example one young boy didn’t want to leave the observatory until he could see through a telescope. So we provided him a small telescope and in the end he left with a great memory.

“The teachers promised to come back and make appointment for night observation.”

What a day!

A Discussion of Generations

MMAO - a discussion of generations

MMAO Astronomy Ambassador Zacharia shares the following …

Eliona Miley and myself, we opened the observatory and we were able to conduct general cleanness with the help of students by removing cobwebs, dusts, lizards feces and all kind of debris. During and after cleaning we held a discussion with students on different matters in life, especially from their tribes’ culture and tradition.
For example, [we discussed] inter-family and inter-tribal marriage restrictions and the relationship between youth and elders. We realized that many of them, they don’t know much about their culture’s history.

This raised several questions as to why the young generation is not interested to ask questions, to learn from the elders. Instead you are seeking only answers among themselves. We asked, “Why do you think you know everything?” Do elders have nothing valuable information that you can learn from them?

The youth have a Swahili phrase, to discourage old ideologies and teachings or any kind of advice, when parents and society think it’s against our traditions and culture. For example clothing styles, hair styles, and other kinds of behavior like engagement in sexual relationships (being boy friends & girl friend openly before a certain age), etc. They say, “TUNAKWENDA NA WAKATI” which means “WE ARE GOING OR ACTING TO THE CLOCK”.

After a long discussion they admitted that its true, that they are not asking questions from their elder brothers, sisters or their parents about issues concerning general life skills. This has brought a great concern to us as to why this barrier between the elders and the young generation is happening and continuing to increase everyday. This is affecting even the classrooms where students are not asking questions, so the learning process has become difficult.

There are several reasons as to why this is happening here in Tanzania and even globally. We asked, “Who or what is the source of all this? Are parents guiding their children? Or are they too busy to pass tradition to their children?” This conflict between the former and next generation has two sides, as elders are not wanting to change and youth do not see value in the elders heritage, [essentially] wisdom outdated.

There is a feeling that the breakdown in the communication between the generations is resulting in a loss of knowledge, and what could be the most powerful generation in Tanzania is instead lost. The youth are instead going to the internet, social media, and movies for their education.

There is a need to seal this gap in order to make a generation which values the need for change and embrace it with positive attitude without losing momentum by creating barriers between the elders and the young generation.

MMAO - a time for cleaning MMAO - a time for cleaning

Creative DIY solutions prevail!

MMAO - creative DIY solutions

On Wednesday December 11, 2019, ambassadors, Zacharia, Eliona, Elineema and Pendaeli were successful in fixing the roof leakages which allowed dust and tree leaves debris to enter the observatory, using pieces of mattress stuffing. We are now looking forward to find permanent solution for water leakage which is currently fixed only temporarily by pushing iron sheets from the inside up, using a small telescope tripod stand and a plastic bar.

MMAO - creative DIY solutions MMAO - creative DIY solutions

Ambassador Eliona visits Star High School

MMAO - Miley at Star High School

Last week Astronomy Ambassador and middle school instructor Eliona Miley visited the Star high school, roughly 23 km south of Usa River. He met with Form Five and Form Six students to introduce them to the the use of a telescope, MMAO, our the observatory at Ailanga. He has invited them to visit (as soon as the rain stops!

This week he introduced the Star High School Science Club to astronomy! Great work!