by Avivah Yamani

This story is not only about astronomy. It is also not an activity I conducted, but rather an activity I joined last February. The activity was named Kelas Inspirasi or Inspiration Class, and it has been held in several cities in Indonesia since 2012 especially in Jakarta, our capital city. In my place, Bandung, Kelas Inspirasi has been held for 2 times since 2013.  Kelas Inspirasi 2014 is the second one which I had an opportunity to join as one of the professionals who shared an inspirational story to the primary students.

The idea of this inspiration class (or let me use Kelas Inspirasi as its original name in Indonesia) is an initiative to inspire primary school’s students using your own story of profession. The basic idea of this activity is to encourage children to always have their own dream of their future dream. But most of them have limited information about their future goal or future career.

Well it’s too early to say it’s a career. I prefer to say it’s a dream we all have since we were a child. What we are going to be, what kind of job are we going to have and what future lies ahead. Seems too far or too visionary? But hey, that’s how children build their life --To have a dream and fulfil it.

Kelas Inspirasi start an initiative to gather professionals from various kind professions and asked them to take one day off to visit elementary schools to share their experiences and plant the seeds of dreams in the minds of hundreds of students. Not every children knows about a certain kind of job.

In Indonesia, when you ask the children about their future dream or goal, they will definitely tell you they want to be a doctor, president, astronaut, football player, police officer, public figure or an engineer. Kelas Inspirasi tries to broaden their insight about other professions as a choice for their future dream in a day called Inspiration Day.

This year I registered myself  and I was accepted. In 2014, Kelas Inspirasi accepted more than 500 professionals to teach in 40 primary schools. I joined a team of professionals who will share their profession and job in SD Sejahtera 4 ( Sejahtera 4 Primary School). The team consists of 19 professional, 3 photographer, 1 videographer and 1 supervisor. Each member of the team must teach and share their values to the students.

I registered myself as an astronomy communicator, so I have to teach and introduce what being an astronomy communicator is about -- what does communicators do and why people need this kind of profession. And even though I teach kindergarten and primary schools about astronomy, telling them what I do and why I did it is another story. Because when I stand in front of them and teach, well that’s my job!

So I decided to teach the students about 2 professions: being an Astronomer and a communicator. So actually it was like another public outreach session as I always had. Aside from me, in the team we had a model, a master of ceremony, an event organizer, a researcher, an administrator, a marching band coach, an online store owner, a Nutrition Counselor, a trainer, a broadcaster, a scientific training officer, a research & development in a cosmetics company, a programmer & a writer, a public officer, and a cowboy. Last but not least a team of firefighters who have their own session at the closing to inspire all students the importance of being a firefighter and a member of a rescue team.

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The team of professionals for Sejahtera 4 Primary Schools. Photo by Mariyanto Mussoli

February 19th, 2014 was the Inspiration Day for Kelas Inspirasi Bandung. And I had the chance to teach 3rd grade and 5th grade about my professions. I decided to start with a story about astronomy and show them various pictures of the object and tell them what astronomers do in their job. After that, with a help from an amateur astronomer friend, we took them outside to become an “astronomer” by observing the Sun using sun glasses and an 8-cm telescope. The students also had a chance to look through You Are Galileo telescope for faraway object. After that, they had a chance to tell the story of what they have seen to their friends. It was fun, because as always our Sun fascinates the children and instead of telling others, they started to ask more about astronomy. Well… it was like another session of Sun-day indeed. By the end of the day, I had several students who wanted to be an astronaut and sun observer and another one as a UFO chaser!

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Astronomy and Astronomer introduction. Photo by Bernadeta Victoria Menur

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Observing the sun. Photo by Bernadeta Victoria Menur

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Observing the sun. Photo by Bernadeta Victoria Menur

Looking through You Are Galileo telescope. Photo by Bernadeta Victoria Menur. taken from Kelas Inspirasi Flickr

The closing time for our team was the most memorable one I ever had. We had a fire and rescue simulation at the school with the firefighter and everyone went home wet!

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Fire & rescue simulations by the firefighters. Photo by Mariyanto Musoli

One thing I learned from this event is, that it would be great not only have astronomy in a public outreach. Teaming up with other professionals from different fields will give more interesting insights for the students and teachers as well.

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Happy students. Photo by Mariyanto Mussoli

All pictures in this blog belongs to Bernadetta Victoria Menur and Mariyanto Mussoli as the photographer of the team.


AvivahAvivah Yamani, is an astronomer, blogger, writer and a communicator who works in langitselatan (Indonesia astronomy online media), astronomy magazine in Indonesia and involve with 365 Days of Astronomy as project manager. Avivah also serve as Astronomer Without Border National Coordinator in Indonesia. She is involved extensively with astronomy communication with the public, enjoying the challenge of conveying complex ideas in an easy-to-understand manner.


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