— Report by Thilina Heenatigala and photos by Lina Canas.

Enthusiasm, knowledge and curiosity gathered at Volos today for the Astronomy@myBackPack & Astronomy@myPC training sessions organised by Núcleo Interactivo de Astronomia (NUCLIO), Portugal. The day started with Rosa Doran welcoming the participating teachers from Portugal, Romania and Switzerland among other countries. It was a diverse group of teachers from middle school, high school to science educators. Many interesting questions were raised and discussed.


The sunny weather in Volos was ideal for the morning session on our star, the Sun. Not only teachers learned the basics of the Sun, but also how to access the latest Solar images online for the Sun4All project – an excellent resource for teachers.

After a wonderful lunch, participants gathered at the computer lab of the venue to tour the cosmos using Stellarium software. How to locate a planet, how to plan an observing session using Stellarium was discussed. The session followed by a brief coffee break turned out to be more of a discussion session where teachers got to talk to each other regarding questions they encountered using certain tools and learning from each other.


With the caffeine fix, the teachers were divided into two groups, Astronomy@MyPC and Astronomy@MyBackPack. Teachers with an interest of online materials was lucky enough to learn about doing real science from Dr. Pamela Gay who discussed the value of citizen science and how anyone could contribute towards real science. Few feet away from the “Astronomy@MyPC” group, Leonor Cabral was introducing phases of Moon with hands-on approach for the participants of “Astronomy@MyBackpack.

“It was a good workshop, I already have used tools such as Stellarium but this was a good opportunity to learn more” said Paulo Sanches, a teacher from Moimenta da Beira school in Portugal. With that thought day 1 concluded, check more images of the sessions at NUCLIO Facebook page.