The first ever platform for high-quality, peer-reviewed astronomy education resources in Italian has been launched today at the LXI Congresso della Società Astronomica Italiana in Padova, Italy. astroEDU is a platform that allows educators to discover, review, distribute, improve and remix science activities, particularly those with an astronomical, earth or space science focus, and offers a free peer-review service by professionals in education and science.
After the successful launch of astroEDU in English in 2013, the platform has published more than 50 peer-reviewed astronomy and space science educational activities. The Italian version of the website is launched today by the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics (Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica — INAF) and the Italian Astronomical Society (Società Astronomica Italiana — SAIt) with the support of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and Leiden Observatory. Using the familiar peer-review workflow of scientific publications, astroEDU is improving standards of quality, visibility and accessibility, and providing credibility to these astronomy education resources.
The success of the platform has led to interest in establishing versions in other languages. The Italian language version is the first such to be launched. The IAU astroEDU Italian will target astronomy educational content created by INAF and SAIt and other resources prepared by local teachers, educators and education specialists.
Each one of the activities will be peer-reviewed by an educator and a scientist to ensure both educational and scientific standards. The published content will be open and free, using a framework which will enable a broad distribution in a range of different formats, from print-friendly PDFs, to ePub for mobile and tab devices.
The IAU is the international astronomical organisation that brings together more than 10 000 professional astronomers from almost 100 countries. Its mission is to promote and safeguard the science of astronomy in all its aspects through international cooperation. The IAU also serves as the internationally recognised authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies and the surface features on them. Founded in 1919, the IAU is the world's largest professional body for astronomers.
The Italian National Institute for Astrophysics, INAF, is the main Italian research institute for the study of the Universe. INAF promotes the development of astronomical knowledge in schools and across society by means of educational and outreach activities disseminated through its central headquarters and its local structures, in collaboration with scholastic organisations and local authorities. INAF acts as a scientific and technical consultant on matters within its competence, on behalf of the Ministry of Education, University and Research.
The Italian Astronomical Society gathers professionals in the field of astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology as researchers and teachers. SAIt’s aims are the diffusion and promotion of astronomy and scientific knowledge. It supports teaching in science and astronomy and organises the Italian Olympiad of Astronomy on behalf of the Ministry of Education, University and Research.
astroEDU Italian Editor-in-chief
INAF - Head of Outreach and Education office
Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera
Cell +39 3387317748
astroEDU Managing Editor
Leiden, the Netherlands
Cell: +31 654372658
Lars Lindberg Christensen
IAU Press Officer
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 89 320 06 761
Cell: +49 173 38 72 621