About the OAE and NAECs

The IAU has recently founded its Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE), which aims to support and coordinate astronomy education by astronomy researchers and educators, aimed at primary or secondary schools worldwide, as well as  foster the use of astronomy as a stimulus for teaching and science education in general. The OAE is a joint project of the IAU and the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany. The OAE is hosted by Haus der Astronomie (HdA), an astronomy education and outreach center also based in Heidelberg, Germany. More information on the OAE can be found on our preliminary website [http://astro4edu.org].

The OAE is tasked by the IAU with creating a worldwide network of National Astronomy Education Coordinators (NAECs), similar to the network of National Outreach Coordinators (NOCs) of the IAU Office of Astronomy Outreach. The NAECs are to be nominated by the National Committees for Astronomy or, in the case of countries without a National Committees for Astronomy, by the organisations who provide the National Member Contact for the IAU.

For this reason, SOCHIAS is seeking to nominate a team of up to five Chilean National Astronomy Education Coordinators and send those nominations to the IAU. This position is ad-honorem, and compatible with previous appointments.

What is the purpose of a NAEC team?

Each NAEC team is meant to help the OAE document and analyze how astronomy is used in teaching in its country, identify existing relevant actions, organize professional development for teachers and develop readily accessible and high-quality educational material tailored to the specific needs of the country, and for specific groups and school levels.

Each NAEC team will be the interface between the OAE and the astronomy education community in its country, particularly creating a link from the IAU to teachers interested in astronomy and in using astronomy as a tool for teaching science in primary and secondary school. NAEC team members will hopefully be chosen so that, between them, they should be thoroughly familiar with all aspects of astronomy education in their country, and should be in touch with all major astronomy education stakeholders, and able to disseminate information from the OAE to their country’s astronomy education community.

At a later stage, the NAEC teams are also meant to serve as OAE’s liaison with the country’s curriculum experts, as well as with officials involved in administering the country’s educational institutions, as one of the OAE’s aims is to further the inclusion of astronomy in national curricula and, where appropriate, work with the local community in proposing modifications of the national curricula and schools’ syllabi.

In summary NAECs are the central liaison between the OAE and each national astronomy education community. Their role is to

·        communicate to the OAE their countries specific issues and needs regarding astronomy education,

·        share information about astronomy education in their countries with the international community,

·        disseminate information about standards and best practices in their national communities, and encouraging their communities to follow agreed-upon standards,

·        help OAE to build a data base of IAU volunteers willing to support astronomy education activities.

For more information on the role of the NAEC team, please visit https://www.haus-der-astronomie.de/oae/naec-role .

Who can apply?

The NAEC team should consist of up to five experts in astronomy education. Hopefully the team will involve experts on both primary and secondary education, as well as on astronomy education research.
The selection will take into consideration the diversity of their members in terms of gender, geographic regions, ethnicities, etc., when possible.

How to apply

Fill out the form available at https://forms.gle/tgnXjuURbYtahfZ67 before September 9, 2020.

Contact us

Enquiries about the process should be addressed to contacto@sochias.cl .