Last Saturday, I had the joy of attending a meeting that formally founded the German UNAWE Committee (which, as a side-note made me become a member of it).
UNAWE (“Universe Awareness for Young Children”) is an internationally-recognized organization trying to educate young children on astronomy. The target age is rougly between 4 and 10 years. Besides astronomy, UNAWE is also about people (children) from different cultures talking to each others and sharing their experiences. This is a fantastic idea and I like it very much. There are already a number of UNAWE committees all around the world and I am eager to help grow that network.
If you are into astronomy, work with children, or both: consider contributing!
I am always on the search for English learning resources for kids. I guess I found another one. Me and my son are space addicts. The NASA kids homepage seems to be a great fit. It provides fun and space facts while at the same time offering some *real* motivation to dig into English.
I am still on the search for some weekly or monthly newsletters especially written for kids. And of course, I would find those great that are specifically written for non-native speakers. If you come around any such thing, please drop me a note. The topic doesn’t necessarily be space or astronomy. Wildlife, sealife and anything else would also be great. I am looking forward to all the great suggestions ;) [well, honestly I think receiving even one would be great…].
I am always on the search for new material on English for kids. This is what I found today:
http://www.britishcouncil.org/kids-parents-books.htm – this is a good reference site, also with material itself.
Penguin Readers – this is graded material, also for young kids
Oxford Bookworms Library – another well-received graded library
Live is not just about programming. Today, I took some time off to give an astronomy talk to elementary school kids. Their teacher had approached me some time ago and asked if I could give that talk at the end of their school excursion. Of course I could :)
It was a quite basic talk about the sun, moon and stars, with a focus on understanding our place in to solar system. Of course I covered all the nice planets and especially focused on Saturn (of course, because I am a SOC member ;)). We had big luck with the weather. Around noon, there was pouring rain and clouds, clouds, clouds. When I arrived at the school (they came over to our elementary school in Grossrinderfeld), the rain ceased somewhat.
We prepared and off went the talk. The kids were very interested and obviously had fun. And, believe it or not, by the time the talk completed, there was bright sunshine. So I could bring out my PST solar telescope and the kids could have a great look at our mother star (of course, the teachers liked it to).
To conclude the event, I dispersed NASA stickers (ESA doesn’t provide me some ;)) and left a lucky crowd.
Did I say this is a very rewarding activity? ;)