In the 2nd International Olympiads on Astronomy and Astrophysics last August (25-27 August 2008), Langitselatan also take part on the event. We get one stand about 3×3 m just right in the corner. Langitselatan present pictures and stuff to public. But not just that, the main show in our stand is the display of langitselatan.com, stellarium, short animation and movies. The stuff in our display table are pins, bookmarks, posters, small telescope, galileoscope from Japan (this is not for sell) and t-shirts.
Never thought all the stuff sold out .. well not all but some stuff really sold out. This is great. but the more important is I met many people. We discussed many topics especially astronomy for children. I also met physics and astronomy teachers from all level (elementary school, middle school and high school) and they asked for help to provide astronomy material for them. Seems like several of them has no astronomy or physics background and they get many difficulties to understand and teach astronomy subject.
Three days during exhibitions, I get so many information including from Microsoft WWT although it can’t change my mind that in Indonesia the tools we need is something free, simple, not to much requirement that everybody in this country could use it.
People needs the content not the greatest software or the greatest tools. Tool is only tool.. we can use it and maximize it to fulfill our need. This is not for software only but for all educational tools. Even though it is small, it is not high tech, it is not the best tool in the world, it is only hand made etc but as long as we can share information and educate people with it we should keep use it. Except you have money of course to get expensive tools. However, for the whole year, I am amazed with the tools and methods from India. They could use everything cheap & simple to educate their people.
Back to the exhibitions. I also met leader and observer from several countries that interested in IYA2009 cornerstone projects such as UNAWE and GTTP. It was great to share all information that I have to so many people. I also met students, children, parents, grandparents that interested in astronomy. We discuss so many things and I also shared free software and educational material with them. One of our visitors was Prof. Ron Ekers former President of IAU. Esti and I got the chance to interview him for IOAA newsletter. In the interview, he share his thought and point of view on astronomy popularisation and education in Indonesia including IYA2009.
The best of all I could make all show under my mac.. hehehe…