Future Galileos: Starry Messenger Project class of 2010

Posted by David Eicher
on Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The 2010 class of Future Galileos from the Cincinnati Observatory each received an 8-inch telescope for future outreach use. Dean Regas photo
I just received an update from Cincinnati Observatory Center's Outreach Astronomer Dean Regas, which won Astronomy's 2008 Out-of-this-World Award for outstanding programming for the observatory's Future Galileos project. Last year, the money from Astronomy's program allowed the Cincinnati Observatory to award 40 Orion telescopes to individuals and teams who would further astronomy education in the region. Dean's note explains how the program is continuing:

The Cincinnati Observatory just graduated a new class of Future Galileos. On a beautiful September evening, 20 educators gathered at the observatory to show off their twenty 8-inch Dobsonian telescopes from Orion Telescopes & Binoculars. The Future Galileos program began in 2009 and trains applicants to use their telescopes and deliver education programs. Once they are trained and give at least two programs, they get to keep the quality telescopes for future use. The 20 winners were chosen from 85 applicants based on their viable, detailed plans to use the scope for education. They needed to demonstrate how they would use the telescope, what audience they would serve, and what new programs they would develop around the telescope. These 20 join 40 recipients from 2009, the majority of which are teachers at all levels (K-12).

Pat Eastin of Evendale Elementary School and her family show off their new Orion telescope. Dean Regas photo
The purpose of the program follows the theme of the International Year of Astronomy astronomy outreach. Most people in the Cincinnati area have never looked through a telescope. To date, these 60 educators have reached more than 13,000 people in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana and conducted over 300 events.  
Our hope is that this distribution of 60 high-grade telescopes across our community will celebrate astronomical and scientific achievement and multiply the reach of astronomy education to the region. These telescopes will make a lasting impact and ignite scientific curiosities for the next generation.
The graduation ceremony was led by Cincinnati Observatory Outreach Astronomer, and creator of the Future Galileos program, Dean Regas. Special guests included Mary Ronan, superintendent of Cincinnati Public Schools; Dr. Michael Flick of Xavier University; and world-renowned astronomer Dr. Mike Brown. With the topic of astronomy outreach, Dr. Brown spoke of his own personal experience in the field. It was at an observatory open house and viewing session where he met his wife. You never know what outreach can do for you!
James Geers received his telescope on behalf of the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts of America. Dean Regas photo
Astronomy magazine really kick-started the Future Galileos by awarding it the Out-of-This-World Award for astronomy programming in 2008.  We are proud to announce that the project is far from over. NASA has graciously funded this Cincinnati Observatory program not only for this year, but to continue supporting the 60 Galileos, and awarding an additional 20 telescopes in each of the next 2years. By 2012, there will be 100 quality telescopes in the region making Cincinnati “Telescope Town.”

Thanks for the update, Dean! To learn more about the Future Galileos project, please visit the Cincinnati Observatory website.






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