Growing connections - the Astronomy Club of Kosovo

by Astronomers Without Borders
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  • This campaign successfully raised
    $520 with 1 backers
    on June 14, 2016
  • Ico flexiblefunding
    Flexible Funding
    Flexible Funding campaigns receive all donations regardless of whether the funding goal is reached.

Raising funds for telescopes to run events with other astronomy clubs in Kosovo and Albania and to train teachers to run astronomy classes

  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 Suhel Ahmeti, Executive Direct and co-founder of The Astronomy Club of Kosovo.

What we need:

We need 4 One Sky Telescopes.

Why we need it:

We need them to help promote science to school students and the general public.

Our club currently has no telescopes of our own, we rely on volunteers to bring them to our events. The telescopes will be used teacher teachers how to incorporate practical sessions in their classrooms, they will also be used in in public events, astronomy camps, star parties, and astro festivals.

We will also soon possess an observatory given to us by the municipality of Pristina and it’s mayor, from which we can use our telescopes for stargazing events. We want to create a space where people who are interested can get the information they require about astronomy, and if they want to be more serious with our club then we will involve them in our programs and activities. The telescopes will help us with the ability of serving more people at the same time, and hopefully increase our range of activities.

Science in Kosovo is is a long way behind the rest of the world. The art of astronomy, in particular, is not a very well-known in Kosovo, mostly as a result of the lack of information and equipment.  Most of the astronomy teaching that is done in schools is just theory without any practical activities. Our club aims to bring the practical experience where it is needed and to teach the teachers how to run practical astronomy sessions for their students. 

Who we are:

The Astronomy Club of Kosovo or Klubi i Astronomëve Amator të Kosovës (ACK), has the aim of spreading the knowledge of Science & Astronomy as well the scientific secrets of the cosmos. ACK aims to build, promote, popularize and bring the knowledge of science and astronomy in the Republic of Kosovo and the region. Founded on March 20, 2014 by a group of passionate students of astronomy, ACK is made of a group of people who love Astronomy and share the passion and the art of astronomy and everything related to it. We aim to bring the science of Astronomy and its beauty closer to the people of Kosovo, Albania and the region.

The group initially came together as only lovers of astronomy, with simple tools that each member of the group had in their homes, slowly growing into a more serious group with scheduled meetings for stargazing, discussions about astronomy and ways that the group can impact the community of both countries. After a while, when the number of members has increased. ACK decided to establish an NGO official association of young people in Kosovo. Our NGO has been registered in late 2014, since we have seen interest towards astronomy and realized that we need to grow our community and find ways to support our activities.

Weekly practical visits to schools - Lately we were invited by Gymnasium "Hivzi Sulejmani" in Fushe Kosova, to teach the students and teachers how to practically use a telescope, spread the first steps of astronomy and help them create an astronomy group within the school. We as a club aim to to bring the practical experience where it is needed and use every opportunity to teach the teachers that own telescopes and do not know how to convey the usage to the students and go to every school in different municipalities of Kosovo. We need all the telescopes we can provide in order to teach our professors, students and astronomy lovers, to bring astronomy in a more feasible way.

Star Parties: Public events gathering professional and amateur astronomers in observing celestial bodies. We visit different cities of Kosovo and organize star parties depending on the weather in each city and try to spread the knowledge of science and astronomy throughout Kosovo.

Astro Camps: Many times during the year we organize Astro - Camps, usually far away from light pollution. For the first time in Kosovo on 2014, our astronomy club organized an astro - camp at Germia National Park in Pristina.  This year we will extend our activities in the region as well (Albania and Macedonia).

Astronomy Seminars: Professional astronomers and different speakers such as Prof. Dr. Jahja Kokaj (World renowned astronomer who has worked with NASA and physics teacher in the American University of Kuwait), share their learning and knowledge about astronomy in interactive lessons. At the end of the workshop we give certificates to the participants.

Astro Festivals: Are organized each year in the old city of Prizren, Kosovo, also known as the city of festivals in the Balkan. In this festival, many groups and individuals passionate about astronomy come together during the days and have the opportunity to be part of many activities in the area of Astronomy. For the first time in the Balkans and Kosovo, in 2015 we organized such an event. Since Prizren is the city of international and traditional festivals, we came with an idea to organize the astro festival in this city.

Teaching of Teachers: Spreading the practical knowledge of using telescopes and astronomical tools. Many geography and astronomy teachers own a telescope but don't know how to use it, and our aim as lovers of astronomy is to assist them in practical lessons about how to use their astronomical equipment.

Yearly Global SunDay: Each year in the capital of Kosovo, Pristina, we organize different day-long activities to commemorate the National SunDay just as the rest of the world does.

Below: Our club orgnaised a very large event to view the partial solar eclipse on 20 March 2015, which also happened to be our first birthday. Hundreds of citizens came to this event and it was a great success!

  Budget Breakdown

$420 - 4 One Sky Telescopes (AWB cost price)

+ $92 (AWB expenses and Fiat Physica fees (8%))

=$512 Total

This campaign will be run on 'flexible funding', so for every $105 raised we will be sending a One Sky Telescope to Kosovo, if we raise part of $105, this will be used to send other astronomy supplies such as solar glasses and spectroscopes.

  Risks and Challenges

The biggest challenge with our work, is availability of telescopes. We have managed to find someone who is travelling to Kosovo from America later in the year, and she will be able to bring the telescope over for us which will save a lot on shipping costs.


Growing connections - the Astronomy Club of Kosovo

Raising funds for telescopes to run events with other astronomy clubs in Kosovo and Albania and to train teachers to run astronomy classes