Freelance environmental researcher and communicator
All Sessions by Gina Maffey
Tuesday - September 17, 2019
Workshop - Earth Rising
11:30 - 12:30
Young people feel increasingly overwhelmed with the burden of issues such as biodiversity loss, increasing global temperatures and food security as a direct result of environmental degradation of planet Earth. This phenomenon, recently dubbed ‘eco-anxiety’, requires an array of solutions - and one that holds great potential, is that of astronomy education. The power of astronomy education to evoke an awareness of our place in the Universe and an innate understanding of Earth has strong historical roots. In more recent times, this was encapsulated in the response to “the most influential environmental photograph ever taken”. Taken during a lunar orbit on December 24, 1968, ‘Earthrise’ is noted as one of the fundamental catalysts for the global environmental movement. As today’s students take to the streets across the globe to demand governments to put environmental protection high on the political agenda and address the climate crisis, educators are faced with key challenges: how do we incorporate environmental education into our curricula? How do we make people more aware of their environment? How do we prepare the next generation for the future? How do we get people to act in an environmentally responsible way? In this workshop, we want to discuss the links between astronomy and environmental education and explore the different goals between ‘traditional’ and ‘active’ astronomy/environmental education. Together with participants, we will look at what opportunities we all have to move beyond disciplinary boundaries and exploit such connections in an interactive and stimulating way.