On the initiative of Prof. Yervant Terzian (Cornell University, NY, USA), a Project of Astronomical Lectures in Artsakh (Nagorno Karabagh Republic) schools was conducted by ArAS on May 6-7.
High and secondary schools in Stepanakert and Shushi were selected by the Ministry of Education and Science (Minister Mr. Slavik Asryan and Vice-Minister for school affairs Mr. Hambardzumyan) of Nagorno Karabagh Republic, including specialized Physical-Mathematical School after A. Shahinyan of Stepanakert. The astronomers also had meetings and discussions with Stepanakert schools’ teachers and with the Artsakh State University students. Altogether 10 lectures were given by 3 astronomers:
In addition, a number of promotional materials were prepared and produced to distribute in the schools for libraries, teachers and pupils. ArAS and BAO publications were used as well and some were published or produced in frame of this project. The following materials were distributed:
One of the goals of the project was the discovery of talented and interested in astronomy pupils to maintain further contacts with them and follow their further growth as potential future scientists. For this, special forms were prepared and distributed in schools as feedback from this project. Hundreds of pupils have filled in and returned these forms with their contact data. Some of the directors of the schools have sent to us gratitude letters and others have suggested continue such lectures and organize astronomical groups in their schools.
Since a few years ago Astronomy is being taught very briefly in the Nagorno-Karabakh schools and this project was a chance to partially compensate this gap. A general presentation (a Powerpoint file) on “Wonders of the Universe” was prepared, which included information on the history and modern state of astronomy, its present developments, achievements of the Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (BAO) led by the outstanding scientist Viktor Ambartsumian and other famous astronomers, and a lot of beautiful pictures from the Universe.
During the whole period of the project communication was maintained with the NKR Ministry of Education and Science. As agreed beforehand, all lectures were organized in classrooms with projectors.
We express our deep gratitude to the sponsor of the project Prof. Yervant Terzian (USA) and the NKR Ministry of Education and Science for organizational help.