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ISSUE 18 - September 2015





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Participant Perspectives on the ESO Astronomy Camp Programme (page 33)
Cristina Olivotto, Davide Cenadelli, Mohamed Gamal, Desmond Grossmann, Laura Angelica Irineo Tellez, Awnit Singh Marta, Catello Leonardo Matonti, Angèle Taillard

Keywords
Education, camp, community, outdoor learning environment, secondary school students

Summary

This article describes the experience of attending the European Southern Observatory (ESO) Astronomy Camp from the perspective of its participants — students aged between 16 and 18 years old from around the world. The students shared a week together during the winter of 2014 in the Alpine village of Saint-Barthélemy, Italy. The camp was organised by ESO in collaboration with Sterrenlab and the Astronomical Observatory of the Autonomous Region of the Aosta Valley and offered a rich programme of astronomy and leisure activities. This article focuses on the concept of astronomy camps, and their role as a unique tool to complement formal classroom education, rather than on the astronomy activities and the scientific programme. Thus, it is not an academic review of the implemented methodologies, but rather a reflection on the overall experience. The article was brought together from collaborative accounts by some of the participants who were asked to reflect on the experience. The participants who contributed to this article represent the diversity of the ESO Astronomy Camp’s alumni community.