The benefits of diversity and inclusiveness in the scientific community are incontrovertible. Following the success of previous years, this session aims to foster debate within the planetary sciences community about the reasons behind the under-representation of different groups (gender, cultural, ethnic origin, and national) and best practices to make the research environment more inclusive identifying and addressing barriers to equality.
We invite abstracts focusing on under-representation (gender, cultural, ethnic origin, and nationality biases) supported by statistics and data; outreach and education activities to reach broad and diverse audiences, best practices to support inclusiveness; and case studies on mentoring and bias-concerned activities. Data and initiatives related to COVID are strongly encouraged.
The Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA) is the largest Astronomy Institute of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC). The creation of the Institute's Gender Equality Commission and the annual elaboration and approval of the Gender Equality Plan (GEP) of the IAA-CSIC since 2017 confirm the IAA support for inclusive initiatives in gender equality. In this presentation, I will show the effectiveness of the different GEPs over time, by analyzing the statistics segregated by gender of the main activities of the last years at IAA.
How to cite:
Passas-Varo, M.: The effectiveness of Gender Equality Plans in public research centers: the example of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, Europlanet Science Congress 2022, Granada, Spain, 18–23 Sep 2022, EPSC2022-1238, https://doi.org/10.5194/epsc2022-1238, 2022.
Lenka Zychova, Karolien Lefever, Norma Crosby, Mark Dierckxsens, Stijn Calders, Pieter Bogaert, and Kris Passchyn
'A Touch of Space Weather' is a project that brings space weather science into the hands of blind and visually impaired high-school students. This project was awarded an EGU Public Engagement Grant in 2021.
We address three challenges:
There is a high demand for educational material addressing STEM topics for blind and visually impaired students (B&VI).
During the covid pandemic, teachers and supporters of B&VI students required audio educational material.
Tactile images that translate visual content for B&VI students are needed. The challenge is to create them so that everyone can easily reproduce them.
Why space weather?
This project wants to highlight the importance of space weather, as it influences nearly every aspect of our modern life ranging from banking, navigation, and telecommunications to the power supply. It is an interdisciplinary subject and, therefore, ideal for explaining complex scientific topics.
All topics addressed in this project are main points in science high-school education, such as the Sun, Earth's atmosphere, Earth's magnetic field, Radiation dose, and others. The explanation of these topics is done through the 'space weather lenses' to assure that the students understand the effects of cosmic radiation, solar wind and other phenomena on the human body, technology and infrastructure.
What do we develop?
Audio booklets that address specific topics related to space weather while being relevant to high school education
Tactile images that help blind and visually impaired students to feel visual content relevant to the audio booklets
1) Audio booklets
The audio booklets will cover 12 topics:
Earth's magnetic field
After receiving feedback from a group of six educators and teaching supporters for B&VI students, we have found out high priority topics that will be prepared first.
The audio booklets will be provided in three languages:
2) Tactile images and 3D models
Transformation of visual content into tactile content is not easy and needs plenty of tryouts. We developed nine tactile images that help to envision content from the audio booklets:
Earth's magnetic field
Formation of aurora
Geomagnetically induced electrical currents
Space weather effects
All tactile images are made from easy-to-get materials from hobby shops. This way, everyone can reproduce the tactile images, not only the teacher but also family members & friends of B&VI students.
We have selected 11 models for 3D printing relevant to the project's topics. These models are public, and anyone with a 3D printer can print them out.
How do we share the content?
We will share the content physically with Belgian schools for B&VI students and publicly online.
1) 'A Touch of Space Weather' boxes
Several 'A Touch of Space Weather' boxes will be distributed to the schools and organisations providing education to B&VI people in Belgium. Each box will include one USB stick with all audio booklets, several 3D printed models and a set of tactile images.
Non-B&VI students will prepare the tactile images during several workshops at regular high schools. In the first part of the workshop, non B&VI students will learn about space weather, and in the second part, they will create a set of tactile images based on our instructions. This way, students that are not blind will learn about space weather and inclusiveness. All images prepared by these students will be given to B&VI students through our boxes.
To make the materials accessible online, we will provide them publicly on our website in three languages. In addition, tutorials and downloadable templates for tactile images will help teachers and parents to create tactile images; audio booklets will be streamable and downloadable.
To engage B&VI students from the beginning, we organised a contest searching for a jingle that will be used as an introduction to each of the audio booklets. The winning jingles will be included in all our audio booklets.
In May 2022; we visited De Kade and provided two workshops for blind students. We have received their feedback on the materials we develop.