The Pan-African School for Emerging Astronomers, PASEA

Formerly known as the West African International Summer School for Young Astronomers, WAISSYA


The 2019 summer school was held in Abuja, Nigeria and hosted by the Center for Basic Space Science (CBSS) at the University of Nigeria from October 28th to November 1st.

The Pan-African School for Emerging Astronomers, PASEA is a program held every two years in Africa. At each summer school, there are approximately 60 participants, mainly undergraduates, from across Africa. Organized and taught by an international collaboration of astronomers, the main goals of PASEA are:

  • Contribute to building a critical mass of astronomers in Africa
  • Build community among African scientists
  • Share ideas about teaching and learning between Africa and North America / Europe.

To achieve those goals, the innovative PASEA program is informed by research in science education: it focuses on developing instructors’ teaching practices, and on “inquiry”, a paradigm in which students ask and investigate their own mini-research questions in small teams. We use research-based surveys and student reflections to measure student learning, and revise our curriculum for future summer schools based on the results. PASEA alumni are now attending graduate programs across the globe including in countries such as Canada, Portugal and Cameroon, as well as serving as teachers, scientists and engineers at home.

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