Training on Earth and Space Science 2019 – Mission to Mars

Bandung – In 2019, SEAMEO QITEP in Science (SEAQIS) held the annual earth and space-themed training. This training was held on August 13-22, 2019 at PPPPTK IPA Bandung. The training was attended by 29 participants who were junior, high school, vocational school teachers, and education personnel who came from SEAMEO member countries, 1 from Cambodia, 1 from Laos, 1 from Malaysia, 1 from Myanmar, 1 from the Philippines , 1 person from Thailand, 1 person from Timor Leste, and 22 people from various cities and regencies in Indonesia. All participants received a full scholarship from SEAQIS to learn about the earth and space issues that currently exist and in accordance with the context of education in Southeast Asia.

The training was officially opened by the Director of SEAQIS, Dr Indrawati, on August 13, 2019 and then continued with training orientation from Mr Reza Setiawan. In the orientation of this training, the participants got information about the general description of the training from beginning to end. The information included what materials will be given, what activities will be carried out, and what tasks must be fulfilled by the participants in order to graduate and be entitled to receive a training certificate from SEAQIS. The first day activities ended with a pre-test for all participants.

On the second day, the participants received materials from Dr Irwan Meilano, a Geodesy expert from the Bandung Institute of Technology. He explained about plate tectonics and the mechanisms that are associated with it. It started with the introduction of what tectonic plates are and the types of plate boundaries. In the last session, the participants worked in groups to find plate boundaries on a world map based on volcanology, geochronology, seismology and geodesy data. The lithosphere is broken down into what are called as tectonic plates. Types of plate boundaries consist of three types: divergent, convergent, and transform.

The next session, on the second day, was the session of Mr Agus Fany Chandra Wijaya, M Pd, an Earth Science and Space lecturer from Indonesia University of Education. He explained about meteorology, the differences in weather, seasons and climate. Climate is a season pattern; season is a weather pattern. Some weather factors are wind, precipitation, temperature, and cloud cover.

The Space material was given on the third day by Dr Judhistira Aria Utama, an Earth Science and Space lecturer from Indonesia University of Education. He explained about the space characteristics, then guiding the participants to conduct experiments to calculate distances between stars using the Excel application. In addition, on this third day, the participants also received material about mitigation delivered by Dr Riantini Vitriana from Bandung Institute of Technology. There was also a group activity to analyse the map in determining the location of shelters.

The main speaker in this training was Dr Zartaj Waseem from Pakistan Space Science Education Center (PSSEC). He gave a material on the fourth and fifth days with the theme of Mission to Mars. Mission to Mars is one method to make science more interactive, make every child have dreams, and they care about the future that will be faced. STEM is the learning approach used in this program. All subject teachers related to the theme can join together to make lesson plans. Technology is based on phenomena but engineering is based on problems. She explained why humans want to go to Mars because Mars is a planet like Earth that might be home to humans. There are two types of engine that will go to Mars, Mars Lander and Rover. The participants conducted activities to create miniature of landers, analysed Mars soil replication, and developed lesson plans. The group presentation was conducted at the end of each activity.

In addition to getting material in the class, the participants of the ESS training also gained learning experiences from various places related to Earth and Space and Indonesian culture, especially Sundanese. They visited the Earth and Space Laboratory of the Indonesian University of Education to conduct various hands-on activities and star and planet observations at night, Bandung Geology Museum to see the history of the formation of the universe and other geological phenomena. Furthermore, they visited the Bandung Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency to gain experience on how to monitor climate and earthquakes around Bandung, then to the Boscha Observatory in Lembang, Indonesia to observe the largest telescope in Indonesia, and make observations of the sun using telescope, and they visited Saung Angklung Udjo to enjoy special Sundanese culture namely Wayang Golek and Angklung.

The last night before the closing, the participants held Culture Night, a cultural exchange event among the participants. The participants wore traditional clothing from their respective countries and regions, and then they performed various kinds of entertainment such as singing and dancing. Then, it ended with a gift exchange event between participants.

The training was closed on Thursday, August 22, 2019 by Dr Indrawati and ended with the certificate awarding of all participants.

The whole series of training activities were attended by the participants with enthusiasm, the togetherness that was passed resulted in close family ties for the participants. Hopefully the participants can spread the knowledge and experience they have gained to many parties in their respective countries and regions.

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