The Pan-African School for Emerging Astronomers, PASEA
Formerly known as the West African International Summer School for Young Astronomers, WAISSYA
Preparations are underway for the 2021 edition of the Pan-African School for Emerging Astronomers, PASEA to be held in Zambia.
The Pan-African School for Emerging Astronomers, PASEA is a program held every two years in Africa. At each summer school, there are approximately 60 participants, mainly undergraduates, from across Africa. Organized and taught by an international collaboration of astronomers, the main goals of PASEA are:
Contribute to building a critical mass of astronomers in Africa
Build community among African scientists
Share ideas about teaching and learning between Africa and North America / Europe.
To achieve those goals, the innovative PASEA program is informed by research in science education: it focuses on developing instructors’ teaching practices, and on “inquiry”, a paradigm in which students ask and investigate their own mini-research questions in small teams. We use research-based surveys and student reflections to measure student learning, and revise our curriculum for future summer schools based on the results. PASEA alumni are now attending graduate programs across the globe including in countries such as Canada, Portugal and Cameroon, as well as serving as teachers, scientists and engineers at home.