Learning science practically is the answer

KILIMANJARO: LEARNING science in a practical way is very interesting as it provides an opportunity for learners to have a hand on experience on the topic they are grasping thereby enabling them to fully comprehend the lesson.

It is not a hidden fact that some learners opt to skip science subjects not because they are hard to understand but rather, the nature of teaching which in most cases is based on theory that simply makes the subject boring and unfriendly.

However, the coming of Kilimanjaro Planetarium dome has helped to ease the burden of enjoying science especially to learners who are interested to become astronauts, astronomers, aeronautical engineers, pilots, engineers and pursue other science related careers.

Through the Kilimanjaro Planetarium project, students can engage in interactive and fun activities that make science both enjoyable and entertaining.

This inspires students to believe in their dreams and fosters their creativity and imagination, as they explore new horizons and discover the possibilities of science and innovation.

Recently, the Daily News pumped into its founder Eng. Musa Mishamo who explained in details what made him to be the first Tanzanian to bring into the country such an amazing science learning platform.

“The idea to bring here the Kilimanjaro Planetarium dome came when I visited Science centres in developed countries and I witnessed the gap in Science exposure between children in Africa and those in global north countries (Europe and America ) which left me deeply saddened.

“I was uncomfortable with the fact that while people in first-world countries are contemplating missions to the moon and Mars, many in Africa had never even looked through a telescope…recognizing the need to take a step towards space exploration, the idea of Kilimanjaro Planetarium was born,” he said.

He added that this platform has come to change the misconception that Science is difficult, boring and is meant for the western people…this program wants to transform that ideology and instead make science attractive, fun, enjoyable and entertaining.

Through our Kilimanjaro Planetarium Space outreach education, I have observed that Tanzanian youths possess talents and a passion for space.

If they are given the opportunity, they can innovate space-based solutions addressing community challenges. Implementing incubation programs, training, and hosting competitions can empower these youths to generate innovative ideas.

“We use mobile dome and telescope to bring the universe close to people and we officially launched it in March 2022 at Jamhuri Secondary School in Dar es Salaam which was the first school to experience the Kilimanjaro Planetarium done. “

Honestly, the reception of the program was exceptional, the atmosphere at the school was amazing as students were curious to know more about it…every student wanted to get inside the dome to have a genuine experience of what it feels to be there.

“When they got inside the Kilimanjaro Planetarium dome, they said they felt like they are travelling to space. No one wanted to go back home early and in the evening, everyone wanted to look through the Telescope,” he said.

In terms on how they implement the program to reach many students, he said since the dome is mobile, they visit schools, events, science fairs and many other science exhibition centers in different regions of the country.

Furthermore, Mishamo disclosed that so far, they have visited 120 schools in different parts of the nation and that they target is to reach out to 50,000 people over the next three years.

“Since government is planning to launch its first satellite into space soon, we hope to get more support in the near future to facilitate awareness of space education and the benefits it has to offer within the community.”

“The size of the mobile dome is 5.5m diameter and 3.5m height, it can accommodate 30 students per one session.

Inside the dome we create artificial dark sky to give the feeling of travelling to space, looking at the wonders of the cosmos and mysteries of the universe. “

We use 360 projection system to screen Space themed contents and space live stream software to teach about solar system, moon missions, mission on mars and give chance to look at the planets, moons , galaxies, comets, asteroids, constellations and much more,” said him.

According to him, Kilimanjaro planetarium is the first and the only planetarium in Tanzania…we called it Kilimanjaro, because Mt Kilimanjaro represents the peak…this literally means Kilimanjaro planetarium inspires people to dream big and reach at the peak of their dreams the same as how people reaches the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro regardless of the challenges along the way.

“Our plan is to have mobile dome in every region of the country and build a permanent Planetariums in different regions and we are deliberately encouraging young learners to embrace this opportunity because they are the ones who will take Tanzania to space, to the moon and beyond. “

Kilimanjaro Planetarium plays a crucial role in educating people how investing in space-based technology can address Tanzania’s challenges, it brings discussions and educates people about the potential and opportunities that space technology offers.

“Through Earth observation satellites, Tanzania can utilize satellite images for Precision Agriculture, aiding small-scale farmers, managing forests to combat deforestation, overseeing tree planting initiatives, and safeguarding water resources from contamination.

Furthermore, space technology contributes to disaster management, tackling issues such as fire outbreaks, floods, and landslides, while providing essential weather data.

It’s essential to recognize that the benefits extend beyond immediate challenges, as space technologies, including TV, maps, GPS, internet, and more, are integral to our daily lives,” Mishamo concluded.

The Kilimanjaro Planetarium is very inspiring and enjoyable immersive environment for you to get entertained as you learn about the celestial realm.

Enjoy the views and feel like you are travelling through space and landing on the moon or navigating through the different planets and stars.

It is an exciting STEM project that aims to inspire students to explore the wonders of the cosmos and pursue a career in science and innovation.

This project utilizes a mobile dome and a telescope to provide an immersive learning experience for students, as they discover the mysteries of space, including the moon, stars, planets, galaxies, and constellations.

In addition to the dome and telescope, the project also features a High Altitude weather balloon, which allows students to collect data on weather patterns and atmospheric conditions from high altitudes.

This provides students with a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience with weather science and data analysis.

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