|25 August, 2019

Teachers in UAE to go back to school to learn about space

There is currently a lack of astronomy studies in schools

Image used for illustrative purpose. Teacher pointing to students with arms raised

Image used for illustrative purpose. Teacher pointing to students with arms raised

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The Dubai Astronomy Group (DAG) is on a mission to build the next generation of Emirati astronauts and professionals in space science by training teachers on all things astronomy. About 250 teachers from the Ministry of Education will be taking part in workshops being held by the DAG this week.

The group aims to include astronomy in the curriculum of public schools, and in the long run, of private schools, too.

The UAE's first astronaut, Hazza Al Mansoori, had told Khaleej Times previously that it was his passion for astronomy as a child that led him towards his current profession.

The CEO of DAG, Hasan Al Hariri, said: "We are now collaborating with the ministry to give science teachers and specialists of labs the basic ideas of astronomy and the importance of it. They should learn how we can apply those learnings within class in order to empower and motivate the children on this subject.

"There is currently a lack of astronomy studies in schools and with the strategy the UAE has for its space sector, there is a great need of astronomy and space science-related studies in classrooms. These workshops are a great start to that and it'll help teachers achieve those necessary tools and take them back to the class."

Al Hariri said that many students dream of becoming astronauts, but are not given the proper resources in schools to learn more about the subject.

With many space-related projects underway in the UAE, there is a "great need" for scientists, researchers and specialists in this field, according to Al Hariri.

The workshops for school teachers are being held from August 26 to August 28 at the Al Thuraya Astronomy Centre. Al Hariri also hopes to soon expand those workshops to educators in private schools.

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