Looking forward to a four-day space-fest12/02/2014
HARITINA MOGOSANU talks to Melissa Wastney before setting off to a space ‘unconference’.
Wellington-based space educator Haritina Mogosanu is heading to Auckland to attend SpaceUp, an ‘unconference’.
She will also lead the education workshop, which is aimed at anyone who wants to learn more about teaching space science.
The SpaceUp unconference is taking place at AUT University in Auckland on Saturday 15 February and Sunday 16 February.
The SpaceEd workshop will be held prior to this – on 13 & 14 February – and will target intermediate and secondary school teachers.
“I’m looking forward to meeting some science teachers from around Auckland”, says Haritina.
“And to listening to talks from some scientists from the Japanese Space Agency.”
Unconferences, sometimes known as ‘barcamps’, are dynamic events which are fluid and subject to change throughout, depending on the interests of the participants. Those involved influence the content and schedule of the event. A ‘session grid’ is a place to post ideas and register interest in giving a presentation.
“It’s like a massive brainstorm session,” says Haritina.
“Everyone contributes, and everyone is listened to. If you want to change the world, come and tell us your idea.”
Together with welcoming the participants to give a talk or moderate other discussions, the overall idea of the event is to be collaborative, welcoming and fun.
In fact, the call-out for participants includes this open-minded summons: “If you know of any unusual beings like martians, artificial intelligences, future robot overlords, politicians, or sea monsters, and they can get through customs, by all means, bring them along.”
You can learn more about the unconference idea in this video.
One special guest, Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, will be sharing his experience aboard the International Space Station, as well as student experiments performed in space. This talk will be live-streamed so that students around New Zealand can ask questions.
“I’m really looking forward to the special guest talks. The Japanese Space Agency is working hard to promote space education in the Pacific region. They’re very inclusive and open,” says Haritina.
*Last year we published this article about SpaceUp, calling for participants.
*If you’d like to have your classroom join Akihiko’s live-stream, you can email KiwiSpace at firstname.lastname@example.org
*Get your students inspired with this talk: ‘Space is Boring’ by Andy Cochrane, delivered at SpaceUp San Diego.
*More information is available at www.spaceup.org.nz
*Several sessions at SpaceUp will be discussing future programs, such as Spaceward Bound.