On February 26, 2022, the Astronomical Observatory of the Sofia University in Borisova Garden hosted a DiSTARS Communication and Teacher Training event with 34 teachers from all over the country.

The training is organized by MOTIVIAN and the Municipal Center for Extracurricular Activities in partnership with the Department of Astronomy, Faculty of Physics, Sofia University.

The program was full of interesting lectures and practical activities. With the educational and mobile game “Where were these photos taken – Earth, Moon, Mars” for “breaking the ice”, the participants learned in a fun way the conditions and terrain of celestial bodies.

With an inspiring lecture on the latest innovations in space exploration and 130 years of astronomy in Bulgaria, the teachers were introduced by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Vladimir Bozhilov from the Department of Astronomy.

The program continued with the guests from MOTIVIAN, Greece Mr. Miltiadis Anastasiadis and Mr. Panagiotis Evangelou, who presented the goals and objectives of the DiSTARS project, as well as the platform for students and teachers. All teachers gained access to the platform through specially created accounts.

Educational resources in astronomy at SCIENTIX were presented by Tsetsa Tsolova, SCIENTIX Ambassador, Ivo Jokin – resources and upcoming events European Association for Astronomy Education (EAAE), Network for Astronomy School Education (NASE), European School Innovation Academy, ESIA.

The program continued with the observation of the Sun with a telescope with a special filter led by Eva Zaharieva, a doctoral student at the Department of Astronomy and Goran, a student. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Vladimir Bozhilov showed the first telescope on a permanent foundation in Bulgaria, 15 cm refractor, working at the observatory since 1897.

All teachers received advertising and information materials on the project, as well as “Guide to the Amateur Astronomer” and Astronomical Calendars, kindly provided by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Evgeni Ovcharov, Head of the Department of Astronomy.

At the end of the seminar, certificates of participation were presented.

The agenda of the event can be found here.