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Training to be a LOFAR guide

Submitter: Femke Boekhorst
Description: LOFAR is the largest radio telescope in the world with a network of thousands of sensors. Antenna stations are located in the North of the Netherlands and in five other European countries, thus creating a highly sensitive instrument investigating the birth of the Universe.

An instrument of this stature has a high appeal on the public. ASTRON therefore organizes regular open days for everyone and tours for educational groups. However, due to lack of time and manpower, this cannot be done all year round. This is why entrepreneurs in the area (combined in the so-called LofarTafel) and the foundation Het Drentse Landschap developed a plan to train volunteers in being a guide for the LOFAR area. This way, tourists and passersby can easily join a presentation or a tour to learn more about the LOFAR project and its surrounding nature. ASTRON supports this plan by informing the future guides about the LOFAR telescope and all its facets.

The training course will consist of six meetings in which the volunteers learn about the science and technology of the LOFAR telescope, the activities of Het Drentse Landschap in the LOFAR nature reserve and how to be present in front of a group and be a guide in the field.

On Wednesday 6 February, the kick off for this training course took place at ASTRON in Dwingeloo. Twenty volunteers, some of whom are already guides with the IVN (Institute for nature education and sustainability), visited the ASTRON-building and got an introduction about ASTRON, LOFAR and Het Drentse Landschap. The visit was concluded with a tour around the facilities. The image shows Stefan Wijnholds, researcher at the Research and Development department (in front of the posters in the middle), explaining the future LOFAR guides about the Low Band Antennas of the LOFAR telescope.
Copyright: ASTRON
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