Dumbara Sky Special Project Shares Astronomy With Rural Regions in Sri Lanka
14 February 2019
Hands-on activities carried out during the Dumbara Sky IAU100 Special project held on 9-10 February 2019 in Sri Lanka.
Credit: Ashan Ariyawansa
The Dumbara Sky (දුම්බර අහස) project was conducted on 9-10 February 2019 in Sri Lanka and aimed to increase science awareness and early interest the pursuit of STEM fields for school students located in rural regions of Sri Lanka.
Held in the Dumbara mountain region of Sri Lanka, the Dumbara Sky project was conducted by 45 members from the Nalanda College Astronomical Society, the Nalanda College Alumni Astronomical Society and the Astro Minds organisations. A total of 350 students, 20 teachers, and 100 local villagers participated in the activities.
The programme included a variety of activities to encourage youth interest in STEM and to raise public awareness for the preservation of these dark skies by utilizing sustainable methods to light the roads, homes and other locations. Interactive talks were given observational astronomy and the value of preserving dark skies.
Dedicated telescope workshops were also held to demonstrate how they are operated and assembled. These telescopes were then used for observation, which was also accompanied by moon and star mapping activities. Groups produced homemade spaceships, equipped with “egg-astronauts” to test their landing capabilities. Students in Rambukwella also conducted solar observations in the morning hours.You can find pictures of the activities here.
The Dumbara Sky project is one of 22 projects selected by the IAU100 task force to receive financial support to implement their astronomy initiatives under one or more of the IAU100 themes throughout 2019.