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Benard Nsamba sets up mobile planetarium at Ugandan STEAM festival

22.05.2024 16:48

Branco Weiss Fellow Benard Nsamba has set up the first mobile planetarium in Uganda at the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture, and Mathematics) festival that took place at Kyambogo University from April 24 to 26. Dr. Nsamba had unveiled the planetarium a few days earlier during a press conference in the presence of the Vice Chancellor Prof. Eli Katunguka Rwakishaya and the Dean of the Faculty of Science Ass. Prof. Edriisa Mugampoza of the Kyambogo University. The planetarium is part of Dr. Nsamba’s societal goal to use astronomy as a tool to inspire and motivate high school students to consider pursuing STEM-related careers in Uganda.

The planetarium was one of the highlights of the festival and was visited by some 1000 people, many from Ugandan high schools and universities, but also some members of the public. Dr. Nsamba’s group performed 55 planetarium shows during the three days. There were two short shows per session, one about the basic concepts in astronomy, and one entitled “Journey to the center of the Milky Way Galaxy”.

In addition to the planetarium shows, Benard Nsamba also gave a keynote about “Unveiling the wonders of space science for community advancement”, inspired by Uganda’s launch of its first satellite. The discussion did not only serve as a platform to brainstorm how Uganda can leverage its satellite technology to develop home-grown solutions for local challenges but also to acknowledge the historical role of the diverse cultural beliefs regarding celestial bodies in fostering a sense of responsibility, promoting self-reliance and economic growth.

Read the news at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics’s website