Request from WEA

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Request from WEA

Post by rwilkinson » Thu Nov 26, 2015 9:47 am

Received via our gmail:
Dear All,
I am writing on behalf of the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA). Some of you may have heard of us, but for those that haven’t, we are a charitable organisation bringing adult education into the heart of communities, helping people learn whatever they want – from maths, English and skills for employment, through health and wellbeing courses, to cultural studies that help students broaden their horizons and community engagement programmes that encourage active citizenship. Education is a powerful tool for tackling economic and social disadvantage because it raises aspirations and helps people create their own change (

We have just been awarded funding from the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) and the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) to introduce Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine (STEMM) courses onto our curriculum initially in the North West, and then Nationally next September. We plan to use Astronomy as a hook to engage people who would not ordinarily believe that science is within their reach.

We have some ideas, and more are always welcome, but we need the expertise of Astronomers and the loan of observing equipment if possible to engage our hard to reach community groups. We need Astronomers, both Amateur and Academic who would be willing to:
· Undertake one-off talks and presentations on the topics of your choosing.
· Undertake talks linked to courses we have organised.
· To develop and teach Astronomy courses (13/21hrs), for which we would facilitate a teaching qualification.
· To undertake an evening of Observing with recovering addicts on a residential course aimed at personal development.

We are also planning events for the BBC’s Stargazing Live 2016, which is the 12th, 13th and 14th January as this is nicely timed to kick-start our STEMM initiative. I have sent the following ideas to the BBC, who will let me know nearer the time if they are interested in including us and the in their programs. Meanwhile, I urgently need willing volunteer Astronomers and equipment (We have the loan of some Binoculars and we have ~ 30 tablets) for:
· Stargazing at St Johns Community Centre, Old Trafford – This community centre is in the middle of a wonderfully diverse community. We would have an Astronomer to explain what can be seen in the night sky and Binoculars/Telescopes to observe with, and Tablets using a Night Sky App (useful if the weather is bad) to find possible objects to observe. It would be a family event, and there would also be homemade curry!
· Stargazing at Cheadle Mosque and Community Centre, Stockport – This centre wish to reach out and include the wider community in activities, to enhance understanding and forge links. Again, we would have an Astronomer, binoculars/telescopes/tablets and possibly food.
· Stargazing in Colne, Lancashire – Here we have a regular group of Students/Learners who wish to increase their numbers by appealing to the wider community and are hugely interested in including STEMM onto their curriculum. Again, we would have an Astronomer, binoculars/telescopes/tablets and they have excellent dark skies for observing.
· Stargazing at Middlewood Trust, Lancaster – We have taken 12 city students here for residential, sustainable living courses and would incorporate an Astronomy evening, inviting an Astronomer to teach about the night Sky. Again, they have excellent dark skies.

I’d welcome further ideas and participation, and could you pass this e-mail on to any interested parties. I look forward to hearing from you,

Kind regards,

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Re: Request from WEA

Post by bbones » Thu Nov 26, 2015 12:58 pm

Thanks for the info Ross

It sounds like they have got the some well planned events, but non seem to be local and not sure if we would be able to help, I will keep an eye on the post and see what reply's we have.



Re: Request from WEA

Post by dean_kos » Thu Nov 26, 2015 6:31 pm

Email address ??

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