Ghana Planetarium Science Project

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Planetarium on Tour


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THE OBJECTIVES OF THIS TOUR WERE: To take the planetarium to those who could not afford to come to the Planetarium in Accra or did not know about it; To reach a much wider geographical area in Ghana; To help teachers.

PREPARATORY PHASE OF THE TOUR: The following people were involved in preparations between February and April 2010: Valen Tetteh, Emmanuel Yeboah, PapaNii Godfred Amartey, Wendy Bomo Attah. During this period discussions were held about the organisation of the tour, and posters and flyers were distributed. Members of this group took projectors, laptops and DVDs to the University of Ghana (Legon) Campus and the University of Science and Technology at Kumasi (KNUST) and to church groups. Some Marketing Students were also enlisted to advertise in their local communities. Wendy Bomo Attah, a member of the Council of the National Union of Students, made advance arrangements for the visit to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology at Kumasi. Administrative support was provided during the project by Adwoa Afi Odame-Darkwa.

Volunteers Laura Youngson and Douglas Cook arrived from the UK, after several days’ delay due to the volcanic ash cloud that stopped flights.
Preparations for the tour included testing the inflatable dome to check that it was still intact.
Laura and Douglas were accompanied on their visits to Kumasi (KNUST) and Cape Coast University by Godfred Papa Nii Amartey and Emmanuel Yeboah. The visit to the University of Ghana also included members of the Astronomy Club: Stuart Gold, Sara Captan, Ahmed Malak and Sarah Abotsi-Masters (Secretary and organiser of club meetings). Sara Captan has been an active contributor to planetarium activities, creating and presenting an educational video on environmental concerns, and has organised visits to the planetarium by children from the Muslim community through a Muslim Women’s Group.

The equipment included an inflatable dome, a mechanical star projector (a Starlab donated by Dave Weinrich), laptops, projectors, DVDs and videos, and three telescopes and five pairs of binoculars donated by
the Grimstone Foundation as well as materials for children’s activities. The telescopes, binoculars and materials were brought by Laura and Douglas at no cost to Ghana Planetarium. We are very grateful to the Grimstone Foundation and to Laura and Douglas.

Activities included using the inflatable dome, presentations in a lecture theatre and out of doors, teaching sessions, telescope demonstrations, use of laptop and projectors, loud hailers and loudspeakers, etc.

We are very grateful to
Laura and Douglas, who donated their valuable time and expertise and paid their own airfares, and who demonstrated enthusiasm, commitment and a ‘can do’ spirit in spite of all setbacks.

Professor Aboagye-Menyeh, Provost of the College of Sciences at Kumasi (Kwame Nkrumah, University of Science and Technology) kindly sent a driver to take the volunteer group from Accra to Kumasi and organized accommodation for them. Yadvinder Malhi kindly provided transport for the day for the visit to Ghana International School and to the Nima Theatre Group, free of charge. Accommodation was provided free by the Directors while the volunteers were in Accra.
Our thanks are due to the "Developing Astronomy Globally" project for providing a grant towards the costs of the tour. The
Developing Astronomy Globally (DAG) Cornerstone Project was initiated during the Communicating Astronomy with the Public (CAP) Conference in 2007. It’s inclusion on the IYA2009 agenda was in order to ensure that IYA2009 benefits those countries which do not have strong astronomical communities. Specifically the goals of DAG were: (i) to use the momentum of IYA to stimulate the establishment and enhancement of regional structures and networks around the world that would focus on the development of astronomy. These structures would support current and future development work of the IAU and other programmes; and (ii) Ensure sufficient reach and benefit of IYA and other cornerstones to developing regions.

Read Laura's Blogspot about the tour at:



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