Kids in Tanzania had a spectacular way of saying goodbye to the year 2009 as well as International Year of Astronomy. From Maasai land to the Coastal city of Dar es salaam and Morogoro region children had time to unite with the sky by receiving the gift of partial lunar eclipse on the New Year Eve.
In Morogoro the event was conducted by Environmental Watch Association of Tanzania (EWAT) and they managed to gather children’s from the campus at the grounds of Solomon Mahlangu Primary School.
Kids were arranged into groups and they were able to watch the eclipse scene with naked eyes as well as with the aid of the telescope for closer look. The eclipse scene ignited and opened a whole new wonder of the universe to these kids, which brought endless questions from kids to organizers. Why does the eclipse occur? How does it occur? What are the impacts of it? What is the significance? Can we have lunar eclipse on the day time? How does the Planet Earth travel around the Sun? How does the Moon reflect light from the sun? And many more of the kind
It was amazing to organizers as some of these questions were answered by fellow kids and for those which were seen tough or needed explanation organizers were there to assist. To give motivation and awakes curiosity organizers were giving out gifts like pencils and text books to kids who responded well or ask questions.
Similar activity was conducted at Monduli despite the rain and cloud weather of the day that Night, but Essau came up with storytelling method on how the Earth and Moon move around the sun as well as each other as a way of demonstrating eclipse event that was happening. Kids started to create imagination and even wanted to go out in the rain to witness the event unfortunately it was very cloudy and it couldn’t help. Kids’ disappointment was alleviated with the news of solar eclipse on 15th January which is to happen in the Morning assembly at their respective schools. In the coast city of Dar es Salaam kids at Stakishari and Sacuveda had nice spectacular view of the eclipse with clear night like those at Morogoro
UNAWE would like to extend it’s sincerely gratitude to EWAT Chairperson Deodatus Kiriba and other members including Tulizo Malavanu, Omary Hassan, Fares John, Frank Lyimo and Jansen Bilaro who participated in answering some questions raised by the kids. We would like also to thank Leah Lmelezi and Febronia Isame from Mzumbe University who participated in the event as photographers.
By Deodatus Kiriba and Essau Losujaki