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About the IAU Office of Astronomy for Education


The International Astronomical Union (IAU) is the international astronomical organisation that brings together more than 12 000 active professional astronomers from more than 100 countries worldwide. Its mission is to promote and safeguard astronomy in all its aspects, including research, communication, education and development, through international cooperation. The IAU also serves as the internationally recognised authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies and the surface features on them. Founded in 1919, the IAU is the world's largest professional body for astronomers.

The IAU Office of Astronomy for Education is hosted at Haus der Astronomie (HdA), managed by the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy. The OAE’s mission is to support and coordinate astronomy education by astronomy researchers and educators, aimed at primary or secondary schools worldwide. HdA’s hosting the OAE was made possible through the support of the German foundations the Klaus Tschira Foundation and the Carl Zeiss Foundation. The annual Shaw Prize-IAU Workshops on Astronomy education that OAE organizes are funded by the Shaw Prize Foundation.

The IAU’s Strategic Plan 2020–2030 provides for the establishment of an Office of Astronomy for Education, which will support the astronomy community and astronomy educators in bringing the fascination of astronomy into schools. Its activities will include establishing a worldwide network of National Astronomy Education Coordinators (NAECs), promoting astronomy in national curricula, supporting teachers with evidence-based education research and helping the community with its professional development. The OAE is also intended to facilitate discussion and knowledge sharing within the community, particularly between astronomy education researchers and astronomy education practitioners.

The selection of HdA to host the OAE was announced on 28 November 2019 by the IAU (see also our news item).

OAE Centers and Nodes

In addition to the OAE Main Office in Heidelberg, the OAE has several OAE Centers and OAE Nodes hosted by partner institutions around the world.

For more information on the IAU OAE's Centers and Nodes click here.

NAEC teams

The OAE has a network of over 300 National Astronomy Education Coordinators (NAECs) in over 90 countries and territories. These NAEC teams work with the OAE to produce and adapt educational resources appropriate for their education system while acting as a bridge between the OAE and the education community in their country or territory.

Looking for our IAU OAE National Astronomy Education Coordinator teams? You can find them here.

Chronology

Find out about the history of the IAU OAE by following this link.

Documents

For important documents relating to the IAU OAE please click here

Steering committee

More information on the IAU OAE Steering committee can be found here.

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Markus Pössel
Markus Pössel

Director

Markus Pössel
Director
Carolin Liefke
Carolin Liefke

Deputy Director

Carolin Liefke
Deputy Director
Niall Deacon
Niall Deacon

Coordinator

Niall Deacon
Coordinator
Tshiamiso Makwela
Tshiamiso Makwela

Astronomy Education Research Coordinator

Tshiamiso Makwela
Astronomy Education Research Coordinator
Eduardo Monfardini Penteado
Eduardo Monfardini Penteado

Coordinator

Eduardo Monfardini Penteado
Coordinator
Markus Nielbock
Markus Nielbock

Coordinator

Markus Nielbock
Coordinator
Saeed Salimpour
Saeed Salimpour

Astronomy Education Research Coordinator

Saeed Salimpour
Astronomy Education Research Coordinator
Gwen Sanderson
Gwen Sanderson

Assistant

Gwen Sanderson
Assistant
Anna Sippel
Anna Sippel

Project Scientist

Anna Sippel
Project Scientist
Asmita Bhandare
Asmita Bhandare

Support Staff

Asmita Bhandare
Support Staff
Natalie Fischer
Natalie Fischer

Primary School Education Consultant

Natalie Fischer
Primary School Education Consultant