Astronomical education in Armenia

Astronomy and Astrophysics – Astronomy

Scientific paper

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Scientific paper

First ideas on astronomy pupils in Armenia get at elementary schools. Astronomy as a distinct subject is taught at all secondary schools in the country. Teaching is conducted according to a unified program elaborated jointly by professional astronomers and astronomy teachers. Unfortunately only one hour per week is allotted for teaching astronomy which obviously is not enough workload to hire specialized astronomy teachers at every school and at many schools this subject is tutored by non-specialists. Many schools partly compensate this lack organizing visits to the Byurakan observatory (BAO) for pupils where they also attend short lectures on astronomy. In some schools facultative training is organized faced to the amateurs purposive for deeper learning astronomy. During recent years annual competitions for revealing gifted pupils in astronomy are organized. These competitions have three rounds, namely, in schools, in districts and final one as a rule holds at BAO. The country winners successfully participate and win prestigious prizes in the international astronomical Olympiads as well. At Yerevan State University (YSU) a department for astrophysics was set up in 1946 operating to date. This department trains specialists for a career in astrophysics. Only one or two students graduate from this department yearly at present while in 80s a dozen of specialists were trained every year. BAO serves as the scientific base for the students of YSU as well and a number of staff members from BAO conduct special courses for YSU students. YSU provides Master's degree in astrophysics, and BAO is granting Doctor's (PhD) degree since 70s of last century.

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