12 December 2018

Namibia: Astronomer Offers Free Classes to Learners

Windhoek — British astronomer, Dr Rhodri Evans, aspires to make changes in the lives of the learners in Namibia.

Evans, a dedicated, diligent, curious and passionate astronomer, who is currently a senior lecturer in Physics at the University of Namibia (Unam), initiated free classes assisting learners to learn more about science and mathematics. He offers these classes twice a week during his free time in the afternoon. He has so far teamed up with the after-school academy, Ndjuluwa97 Academy, to assist the learners.

Since arriving in Namibia last March, he has dedicated some of his time to offering free science lessons, especially in astronomy and mathematics, at primary and high schools in Windhoek. He also goes around schools in Windhoek to share his passion for astronomy and mathematics with school learners, mainly in upper primary and high school. "My desire is to see over a million Africans benefiting from my teaching," says Evans.

His research specialty is astrophysics. He is in Namibia to specifically head-up building Africa's first millimetre wave telescope on Mount Gamsberg, some 250km southwest of Windhoek.

At Unam, Evans teaches physics to first, third and fourth year students, and astrophysics to masters and PhD students. He also runs the Africa Millimetre Telescope (AMT). With the free classes he is offering, he wants to see the AMT project to its fruition and to get young Namibians trained so that they can participate in the Square Kilometre Array in the 2020s and 2030s, which will be the largest telescope in the world. As part of the AMT project, Evans and colleagues will visit primary and secondary schools in Windhoek and the rest of Namibia to teach learners about the night-time sky, the native Namibian stories associated with the star patterns, and what the AMT project is all about.

The plan is to use astronomy to enthuse learners about the importance of physics and mathematics by sparking their interest at a young age. His reasons for doing this is to give back to the society through sharing informing about what he is most passionate about which is astronomy.

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