My Moon Campaign set to launch UN–declared World Space Week

My Moon World Space Week Logo. Credits: WSW/IYA'09

[World Space Week Press Release - 04.10.2009]
My Moon Campaign is the first joint effort of the Galileo Teacher Training Program (GTTP), one of the Cornerstones of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009), and the World Space Week Association (WSWA), a global celebration of space taking place between 4-10 October every year. In 2009 several important dates are marked including the 400th anniversary of Galileo's observations, 150 years of Charles Darwin's "Origin of Species", and the 40th anniversary of the first Apollo Moon landing. The Moon is the ideal target for this campaign as it presents a perfect link between all these important turning points in science history.

Students around the world will engage in the study of several different aspects of the Moon, using whatever means they have available to reach this purpose: naked eye observations, small telescopes, binoculars, astrophotography, robotic telescopes, webcams, image databases, imagination, and creativity. They will then submit a report, present a project, an essay, anything and everything that will make our natural satellite worthy of being called "My Moon" by the student.

During World Space Week a forum will be opened to connect classrooms from around the world, giving students the opportunity to interact with astronomers and space scientists. The My Moon Campaign builds up to fellow IYA2009 Cornerstone project Galilean Nights, where over three nights students, astronomers and enthusiasts will share their knowledge for the Universe by encouraging as many people as possible to look through telescopes. Students will be participating in several initiatives:

  • The Great World Wide Star Count, a project which invites everyone to go outside, look skywards after dark, count the stars they see in certain constellations, and report what they see online in a global effort to monitor the ecological effects of light pollution.
  • You are Galileo, a project devoted to excite participants in the recreation of Galileo's discoveries.
  • An astrophotography campaign.
  • And many other very challenging ideas.

Rosa Doran, GTTP Chair, elaborates: "The Galileo Teacher Training Program, one of the Cornerstones of IYA2009, aims to create a worldwide network of Galileo Teachers trained in the effective use and transfer of astronomy education tools and resources into classroom science curricula. Through workshops, online training tools and basic education kits, the products and techniques developed by this programme can be adapted to reach locations with few resources of their own, as well as computer-connected areas that can take advantage of access to robotic optical and radio telescopes, webcams, astronomy exercises, cross-disciplinary resources, image processing and digital universes such as web and desktop planetaria. With the objective of further inspiring Galileo Teachers in the use of modern resources for science education GTTP will invite educators to participate in programmes and campaigns such as the World Space Week. This is the first joint GTTP and World Space Week effort and we hope to keep on building on the good experience this campaign will bring and suggestions we hope to receive."

My Moon Campaign begins 4 October and ends 10 November and offers the following:

Prizes that can be won:

- For teachers, World Teachers' Day falls on 5 October within World Space Week.

Educational Awards of $500 are available for the most creative use of space in the classroom.

- For students, books, DVDs, models of the Apollo lander and the International Space Station, and other prizes especially made available by the European Space Agency.

- For the class as a whole, you can participate in a Virtual Telescope session with guidance and presentation by Dr. Gianluca Masi. The Virtual Telescope will also have interactive sessions during Galilean Nights (22-24 October).

All projects should be submitted by e-mail to: and The deadline of entering into the competition is 10 November.

Send us your class creation and win prizes! Please include the name of your school, class and your teacher's name. Also mention your location (city and country). There shall be only one entry per class. This means your class has to work as a team and/or make a team decision to send the best creation or make a compilation. Each class will receive a participation certificate and as we will put up a gallery on our website, all entries will get global recognition!

The following tasks are proposed. Suggested resources to assist educators and students in all these tasks can be found on the GTTP webpage devoted to the My Moon Campaign.

1) Observe the Moon: by naked eye, small telescopes, robotic telescopes, webcams, cameras, image databases, and so on.

Suggestion of projects to be submitted: sketch of the Moon done by hand, Moon pictures, pictures / drawings, tales.

2) Exploring the Moon

Suggested Projects: write an essay / produce a presentation on the importance of space exploration, make a drawing or a picture of the Moon as you observed it and identify features on the Moon, identify the Apollo Landing spots, measure Moon craters and find one with the same size of your city, propose an exploration mission.

3) Faces and phases of the Moon

Suggested Projects: write a tale explaining the phases and faces of the Moon. Write an essay / produce a presentation on what we know about the far side of the Moon. Build a model to help explain the phases of the Moon and the synchronous rotation. Build an activity using Stellarium or Celestia to explain the different views of the Moon in different parts of the world.

4) Size of the Moon and the eclipses

Suggested Projects: write a tale explaining why eclipses happen. Write an essay / produce a presentation rebuilding the history of men's perception of what eclipses are. Build a selection of digital images using Celestia or Stellarium reproducing a solar and a lunar eclipse from different points of observation on Earth, Moon and Sun.

5) The Moon's importance for life on Earth

Suggested Projects: write an essay / produce a presentation spotting the relevant aspects of our natural satellite that makes it so important to life on Earth. Write an essay / produce a presentation exploring the possibilities of life existing elsewhere in the Solar System.

6) Moon exploration in our daily lives

Suggested Projects: produce a video in your school selecting everything whose development started in space exploration. Write an essay / produce a presentation on the impact of astronomy and space exploration in our daily lives.

7) Careers and technology transfer in space exploration

Suggested Projects: write an essay / produce a presentation on all possible careers a student might choose related to space exploration. Write an essay / produce a presentation on how industry largely benefits from space exploration.

Notes for Editors:
World Space Week is an international celebration of science and technology, and their contribution to the betterment of the human condition. The United Nations General Assembly declared in 1999 that World Space Week will be held each year from October 4-10.

World Space Week is celebrated all over the world and is open to all government agencies, industry, non-profit organizations, teachers, or even individuals can organize events to celebrate space. This week is coordinated by the United Nations with the support of World Space Week Association and local coordinators in many countries. As the theme of World Space Week 2009 is "Space for Education" we encourage in particular the participation of educational establishments to join us in celebrating our 10th Anniversary.

The Galileo Teacher Training Program (GTTP) is a Cornerstone project of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009). This celebration of astronomy and its contribution to science and society aims to boost the quality of education for children and young adults and GTTP is at the forefront of these efforts. The core concept is that by training teachers better, and equipping them with the right resources to tackle astronomy in the classroom, the effect will be significant and long-lasting, enduring far beyond 2009.

Galileo Teacher Training Program website:
World Space Week :
Great World Wide Star Count website:
Galilean Nights:
You are Galileo:
My Moon Campaign Forum:

For more information:
Rosa Doran
Galileo Teacher Training Program Chair

Alexandra Ruths
Media Director, World Space Week Association