On the initiative of Prof. Yervant Terzian (Cornell University, NY, USA), a Project of Astronomical Lectures in the schools of the Republic of Armenia (RA) was conducted by ArAS on October 28-31. Since astronomy is not a primary subject at RA schools, this project was a chance to partially compensate this gap. High schools, including some specialized schools were selected by the Ministry of Education and Science.

The schools involved were:

The lectures were organized either in specialized classrooms with participation of at least 30 pupils, or in some cases in the school halls with participation of up to 200 people.

Lectures by Avetik Grigoryan at Yerevan No. 119 high school and by Dr. Areg Mickaelian at Ashtarak high school

Altogether 30 lectures were given by 7 astronomers:

Lecture by Dr. Hovhannes Pikichian at Metzamor high school

A general presentation on “Wonders of the Universe” (PowerPoint file) was prepared, which included information on the history and modern state of astronomy, its present developments, achievements of BAO led by the outstanding scientist Viktor Ambartsumian and other famous astronomers, and a lot of beautiful pictures from the Universe. As agreed beforehand, all lectures were organized in classrooms with projectors.

A number of promotional materials were distributed to the schools libraries, teachers and pupils. ArAS and BAO publications were used as well and some were published and produced in frame of this project. The following materials were distributed:

Astronomical promotional materials distributed to schools libraries, teachers and pupils

One of the goals of the project was the discovery of talented pupils interested in astronomy. We will 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 us gratitude letters and others have suggested continue such lectures and organize astronomical groups in their schools.

ArAS School Lectures project was supported by:

Mrs. Araxy Babalanian (Florida, USA)
Mrs. Yeranuhi Tchelikjian (Montreal, Canada)
Prof. Yervant Terzian (New York, USA)

On behalf of ArAS we acknowledge this generous support and look forward for further activities.