Galileoscope launches IYL 2015 programs

Posted by David Eicher
on Monday, May 04, 2015

Credit: Galileoscope
My good friend Rick Fienberg is a man of many talents. He is press officer and director of communications for the American Astronomical Society. He is former editor-in-chief of Sky & Telescope magazine. He is also involved with the educational outreach effort behind Galileoscopes, which delivers thousands of low-cost telescopes to classrooms around the world.

Please check out the following press release just out. By supporting this, you can make a world of difference.

Galileoscope Launches 2015 International Year of Light Programs

The Galileoscope program for the 2015 International Year of Light (IYL) is now in full swing, with new inventory available for delivery worldwide and thousands of K-12 teachers and students in the United States poised to receive free telescope kits thanks to a generous donation to support science education.

Created for the 2009 International Year of Astronomy (IYA), the Galileoscope solved a long-standing problem: the lack of a high-quality, low-cost telescope kit suitable for both optics education and celestial observation. Through an effort managed entirely by volunteers, more than 225,000 Galileoscope kits have been distributed in more than 100 countries for use in science teaching and public outreach. The Galileoscope has been named part of the Cosmic Light cornerstone project of the IYL, coordinated by the International Astronomical Union, and special IYL-branded kits are now available for purchase and for donation through the Telescopes4Teachers program.

Since its inception, the Galileoscope project has facilitated gifts to teachers and students who might otherwise not have access to a telescope. During the 2009 IYA, some 7,000 kits were donated through a buy-one-give-one program and distributed to educators throughout Africa and the Middle East. That same year, Edelman Financial Services (EFS) and its founders, Jean and Ric Edelman, donated 15,000 Galileoscopes to U.S. science teachers. For the 2015 IYL, EFS and the Edelmans have made another generous contribution to Telescopes4Teachers to support the distribution of 10,000 more Galileoscopes to K-12 science educators in the U.S. Ric Edelman will promote their availability via his biweekly radio program, The Truth About Money, in late May/early June. Telescopes4Teachers (T4T) sponsorships offer a great opportunity for organizations and individuals to support science education and gain visibility among students and teachers across the nation and beyond. Managed through the nonprofit Carthage College Institute of Astronomy, T4T donations are tax deductible in the U.S. Donors of thousands of kits can arrange for custom packaging and the inclusion in the box of promotional inserts and stickers.

In the process of assembling the Galileoscope, students explore fundamental optical concepts such as how lenses form images. Then, with their completed 50-mm (2-inch) diameter, 25- to 50-power achromatic refractor — which attaches to any photo tripod — they enjoy sharp views of lunar craters and mountains, Jupiter’s moons, Saturn’s rings, the phases of Venus, and other bright celestial objects. The kit is augmented with free, standards-based optics-education and observing activities, available in multiple languages. These well-tested activities can be used by classroom and after-school teachers as well as informal educators to provide a rigorous approach to teaching science and the process of science.

The Galileoscope has been featured in professional-development workshops for educators worldwide. Among the organizations routinely incorporating the kit into their teacher training are the U.S. National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO), the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP), and the Galileo Teacher Training Program (GTTP). NOAO has established a program of workshops for educators that can be carried out virtually anywhere — including online ― at minimal cost to the host institution.

Galileoscopes can be ordered wholesale by the case of six for $150 ($25 kit) plus shipping. Individual kits are available from the retailers listed on the Galileoscope website.

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