Galileo Teacher Training Program 2015 Pokhara was organised by Nepal Astronomical Society (NASO) in collaboration with Pokhara Astronomical Society (PAS) and Motherland Higher Secondary School, Masbar, Pokhara, Nepal, from 20-21 February. The programme was conducted in association with Global Hands-on Universe (GHOU).
The programme included four workshops throughout two days which consisted discussion sessions, assignments, hands-on experience for teachers including water rocket events, and also night sky observation session at the school premises. With a total of 16 teachers from different schools of Pokhara, including two teachers from Katmandu, the two-day programme was a success thanks to dedication of volunteers from NASO and PAS.
Suman Gautam of NASO introduced the importance of GTTP and its vision, while Suresh Bhattarai of NASO welcomed the participants to the programme. The first workshop of the programme was delivered by Prabodh Rijal, Eureka High School where the teachers were trained to use Stellarium software. Then teachers were given assignments using Stellarium, to simulate constellations, planets and the sky at night. The second workshop focused on eclipses, with lectures on solar and lunar eclipses, occultation, and transits. The group learned how to use Stellarium to simulate eclipse and was assigned to simulate eclipses on certain dates from Pokhara. The workshop was followed by an observation session conducted by Ashish Sharma.
Telescopes and optics was introduced in the third workshop with the objective of helping the teachers understand the mechanism of telescopes and to use them in the classroom. The participants were able to use the Micro Observatory, a robotic telescope to photograph celestial objects. This was followed by the fourth workshop which focused on Moon. Using Salsa J software, Bonnie Thurber of GHOU took the teachers through a celestial journey on comparing the size of Earth and Nepal and comparing them to moon and its craters.
The two-day programme concluded with students launching the water rockets they built. NASO wishes to thank volunteers from Pokhera, Motherland Higher Secondary School and Bonnie Thurber of GHOU for their dedication to make the GTTP 2015 Nepal a success. A full report of the workshop compiled by Suresh Bhattarai of NASO can be viewed here.