February 15, 2019 – The Department of Physics & Astronomy in the Faculty of Natural and Applied Sciences (FNAS) at Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) hosted an event to promote learning about astronomy for various schools and students. The event featured an observation with a 60-cm Planewave CDK telescope, a 360-degree projection of astronomical simulations in the Cosmic Dome Planetarium and engaging talks with astronomers.
The event was primarily aimed at students from grades 10 to 12, but was so successful that over 350 students of all ages from schools and universities across Lebanon joined to partake in the various activities the evening had to offer. The two main activities were a Planetarium which was set up on campus facing Librairie Antoine, and visits to the Farid and Moussa Raphael Observatory at NDU – the largest one in the Middle East. In the FNAS building proper, movies on Black Holes, Exoplanets, and Solar Storms in both English and French were screened continuously for the whole evening. Three quizzes on Astronomy were held every hour of the event with Astronomy Binoculars awarded to the winners.
Dinner was offered to all participants, along with astronomy gadgets and cookies. NDU bags and admissions guides were provided to older students.
The event was hosted by Dr. Marwan Gebran, Chairperson of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the FNAS and Associate Professor at NDU, and Dr. Cyrine Nehme, Assistant Professor at the Department of Physics & Astronomy – FNAS. “It was an Astronomical evening,” puns Dr. Gebran, commenting on the event’s success. For her part, Dr. Nehme reflected on the event’s educational importance by quoting Socrates: “Man must rise above Earth to the top of the atmosphere and beyond, for only then will he fully understand the world in which he lives.”