AstroBus Ethiopia

by Astronomers Without Borders
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    $605 with 4 backers
    on June 06, 2016
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AstroBus-Ethiopia is a mobile astronomy outreach program, driving around the country in a bus promoting astronomy

  Outreach, Astronomy

Astronomers Without Borders is running a global fundraising project called the BIG (Big Impact Giving) Project. The aim of this program is to help organisations and clubs raise funds to help them achieve their astronomy-related goals. These are microfunding campaigns, where the value is limited to a maximum of $500 USD (plus fees and charges). For a lot of clubs a small amount of money can make a big difference.


The following is by Nebiha Shafi, postdoctoral research fellow at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. Nebiha is one of the team members of AstroBus-Ethiopia


What we need:

We need 8 Celestron Powerseeker 50AZ telescopes


Why we need it:

We will leave these telescopes at the various schools we visit, to help them set up their own astronomy clubs. Our goal is to initiate an interest in astronomy in rural schools, and train the staff to use the telescopes so they can continue inspiring the students after we leave.

Outreach for low income students

One of our team members delivering an outreach program for neglected low income school students at their support centre school.


Who we are:

AstroBus-Ethiopia is a mobile astronomy outreach program that will be carried out by driving a bus to different locations in Ethiopia, starting in December 2016. The program is organised by  a group of Ethiopian astronomers currently working in South Africa, Europe, and America, in collaboration with a couple of international astronomers.


The project aims to promote astronomy Education and Public Outreach (EPO), and stimulate a culture of scientific thinking through the use of exciting astronomy activities. These activities include lectures about the Universe, our Galaxy, and the solar system, and sky watching sessions where we invite people to look at the stars, the moon and planets through small telescopes. We believe this idea is an effective approach to reach out to the general public in a creative and inspiring way for promoting astronomy and in general igniting scientific curiosity which in turn drives socio-economic development in Ethiopia. 

Stargazing at Entoto

A star gazing session run by some of our members at Entoto, Ethiopia.


AstroBus-Ethiopia has been approved for the 2016 IAU-OAD funding. However, this funding cannot cover the total cost estimated for the project.  Therefore, we are now seeking additional funding in order to reach our goal of taking astronomy to our fellow Ethiopians in their own towns and home language to share the scientific excitements we enjoy. 

  Budget Breakdown

$481 - 8 Celestron Powerseeker 50AZ telescopes, including shipping

$99 AWB expenses and Fiat Physica fees

= $580 Total

  Risks and Challenges

Our biggest challenge is raising the funds to cover the costs for a 14 day program. Our budget estimate of 20,000 Euros is to do 14 days of outreach traveling to 7 towns. We have secured 14,500 Euros as of now, so if we don't reach the 20,000 Euros, what we are prepared to do is carryout the outreach for 10 days and 5 towns.

The more money we can raise, the longer our trip can be and the more schools we will be able to visit.



AstroBus Ethiopia

AstroBus-Ethiopia is a mobile astronomy outreach program, driving around the country in a bus promoting astronomy