IYL 2015 Opening Ceremony in Morocco

On February 26th the Opening Ceremony of the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL 2015) in Morocco took place in Rabat, at the University of Sciences of Rabat. In addition to the participation of researchers, students, institutional partners and journalists, the main audience of this ceremony was children and teenagers, largely represented by student associations, astronomy clubs and UNESCO’s associated schools, amounting to a total of 300 attendees.

The ceremony presented the Moroccan events celebrating IYL 2015 and was comprised of a number of lectures offering different viewpoints on the role and impact of light in our lives.

The Opening Ceremony is one of the starting points for a series of events taking place all over Morocco during this year. The events programme is very rich and varied and includes a number of activities that benefit schools. These activities include: conferences, scientific coffees, days dedicated to light and light-based technologies, and pedagogic workshops on “Ibn Al-Haytham’s Camera Obscura,” and optics. In addition to the aforementioned events, the “Dark Skies Rangers” programme of the “Globe at Night” campaign – an international campaign against light pollution – will audit light use in schools.

Among the activities being organised, it is also worth mentioning the national competition entitled “Cadran solaire” on the theme of ‘light, shadow and time,’ the public sky observations on 20 March, 2015, for the occasion of the partial solar eclipse, and teacher training workshops on the topic of ‘innovative techniques in optics teaching’ in partnership with the National Ministry of Education and the UNESCO Active Learning in Optics and Photonics (ALOP) programme.

The Opening Ceremony was organized by Al Akhawayn University and Mohammed V University in partnership with the Moroccan Foundation for Science, Innovation and Research (MAScIR), the African Laser Centre (ALC), the CITI Association for the integration of new technologies in the teaching of science, the Network of Amateur Astronomers of Morocco (RAAM), astronomy associations of Rabat and Casablanca, the astronomy club Al Akhawayn , Moroccoan Association of nanotechnologies (AMANAT), the association Migrations co-development Alsace (MCDA) and Moroccan UNAWE-network (UniverseAwareness).

For more information about upcoming events visit the website from the IYL2015 Moroccan Committee.

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