Togo Under the Stars
Raphaël Peralta (SpaceBus France) reports on going on tour in Togo.
Read article in the fully formatted PDF of the Europlanet Magazine.
Astronomy outreach came to the roads of Togo this spring with “Togo Under the Stars”, a collaboration between the Togolese association SG2D (Geological Science for Sustainable Development) and the French association, SpaceBus France.
During two weeks from 16-22 March 2022, a team of six Togolese geologists and four French astronomers travelled around the country, visiting schools, villages and public squares. Science workshops on the theme of space and astronomy were organised in six cities across Togo, from Kara in the central northeast, and descending through Sokodé, Atakpamé and Kpalimé down to Aného and Lomé on the south coast.
SpaceBus France provided fun and interactive activities, including demonstrations with a 3D-printed scale model of the Solar System, observing the Sun and the night sky with telescopes, and presentations on the Space Race and rocket science. Participants finding out about meteorites and geology were given different kinds of meteorites and terrestrial rocks to handle and to help learn how to recognise them. In the capital city, Lomé, the team provided basic astronomy training for teachers of all levels, using educational tools developed by various research institutions. All the resources presented to teach astronomy in the classroom are easy-to-use and available free on the Internet.
“Togo Under the Stars” has been a great success on all levels, reaching over 10,000 Togolese in total and providing students with an opportunity to meet and exchange with astrophysicists.
The feedback has been extremely positive. Financial support from the Europlanet 2024 RI programme has helped to make this project a reality and to break new ground with this major astronomy outreach event in Togo.