Help 50,000 Tanzanian Students View the Solar Eclipse

by Faculty of Science Technology and Environmental Studies, The Open University of Tanzania
  • Pledged

    $630

  • Backers

    8

  • This campaign successfully raised
    $630 with 8 backers
    on July 12, 2016
  • Ico flexiblefunding
    Flexible Funding
    Flexible Funding campaigns receive all donations regardless of whether the funding goal is reached.
$7,000
goal
9%
funded

Assemble 50,000 affordable, safe Solar Eclipse Viewers in Tanzania at very low cost and distribute to schools and public across the country

  Technology, Astronomy

 

Assemble Solar Eclipse Viewers in Tanzania at very low cost and distribute to schools and public

 

 

Across Tanzania, millions of people will be amazed to see the Sun go evening-dim at midday as more than 90% of the Sun will be covered by the Moon in a Partial Solar Eclipse leaving the Sun as a thin crescent due to a large chunk being bitten off by the Moon.

The ANNUALAR ECLIPSE will be seen as a thin bright ring on that day for hundreds of thousands of people living within a 100 kilometer band crossing southern Tanzania from Congo into Katavi to Mbeya, Ruvuma, to Masasi and out to Mozambique.  Within this 100 km strip, 98% of Sun will be hidden by the Moon, creating a thin bright ring of fire.

An Eclipse event is a fascinating, once in a lifetime incident for everyone, especially for the young generation whose minds can be excited to learn the Science behind what they observe.  

Hence this event can be exploited by schools and educational institutions to increase the awareness of the importance of Science to understand nature. The eclipse occurs on a school day with the whole process lasting nearly four hours from 10:17 am to 1:56 pm, so students can not only observe the event but also discuss and write, and learn from it.  

The next major eclipse in Tanzania is after 15 years, this is a great science awareness and learning opportunity that we need to take advantage of, so we need to use it to its maximum.

To view the eclipse, everyone will need to use eye protection “solar viewers”. It is dangerous to view the Sun directly or using homemade darkened materials.  

The solar viewer is a simple device made from special polymer filter material that suppresses 99.999% of the Sun’s visible and UV radiatiion intensity and 97% of the infrared.

The solar viewers can be assembled in Tanzania at a cost of less than 500/- (25 US cents) each, including printing the cardboard mounts and the polymer filter imported from USA supplier Thousand Oaks Optical Company, http://www.thousandoaksoptical.com/solar.html

 

The viewers are to be distributed in Primary and Secondary Schools and other educational institutions as well as the general public. 

 With 50,000 viewers produces, each school can be provided with 10 viewers per school. Since the eclipse progresses over several hours, each class can share a viewer.

 The cost is also low enough for ordinary people to purchase so extra viewers could be sold for about 500/= each (.25 us cents each).  Schools can also buy extra viewers because of their low cost and also encourage parents to purchase them

This will provide the confidence boost to be able to manufacture a technical equipment in Tanzania while we have expected assistance to get such products from outside the country.  This project can be extended to provide assembling instructions for school children to assemble the solar viewers themselves and get the satisfaction of building their own science equipment.

The solar viewers will become part of the school's permanent material for use to observe future eclipses and transits of the Sun.

Our social media page on Facebook has regular updates on astronomy in Tanzania: https://www.facebook.com/astronomytz

The Astronomy in Tanzania webpage also provides continuous updates about news and events of interest: Astronomy in Tanzania news and events page

OUR TEAM

We are a team of astronomy enthusiasts coordinating members from across Tanzania consisting of students, teachers, lawyers, scientists and professionals.  We are advised about the specifications and quality of the viewers by renowned eclipse specialist Prof Jay M. Pasachoff of Williams College, USA, and Dr Claire Flanagan, astronomy educator and past director of Wits Planetarium, South Africa.

ECLIPSE VIEWING PLAN

The eclispe viewers will be distributed to primary and secondary schools across Tanzania with instructions about how to use the eclipse and the observations to note and investigate during and after the observations. The viewers are expected to be distributed through the approx. 200 districts each of which has about 10 primary and 10 secondary schools each.  Hence we expect to reach about 5,000 schools. 

We expect each viewer to be shared by at least 10 students so that total number of students who will see the eclipse will be able to see the eclispse is expected to reach 200,000 students or more.

Besides the schools, the public will be given access to viewers by preparing ourselves to host eclipse viewing in all towns and cities across Tanzania, and especially even in villages within the central annular band passing through southern Tanzania where there will be a need to remove the traditional fear of eclipses and convince parents to allow themselves and their families and children to view the eclipse and experience its excitement.

Maps derived from interactive webpage of Xavier Jubier:

http://xjubier.free.fr/en/site_pages/solar_eclipses/ASE_2016_GoogleMapFull.html

  Budget Breakdown

COSTING FOR 50,000 SOLAR VIEWERS

 Sample of viewers to be manufactured: 

1. POLYMER FILTER MATERIAL 

One bulk roll 12” x 2,500’, $1.08 per sq. ft. = 2,700 USD

Expres$s mail                                                =    350 USD

VAT 20%                                                       =    600 USD

DUTY (Zero rated according to my inquiries for HS Code 9001.90.100

Tanzania Bureau of Standards permission for importation does not need pre-shipment verification of conformity(PVoC)                                      

 Subtotal for polymer filter material              = 3,650 USD

------------------------

2. CARDBOARD MOUNTS FOR VIEWERS

Per piece 100/=

50,000 pcs                                                    = 5,000,000/= Tshs

Subtotal for cardboard mounts                    = 2,300 USD

---------------------------

3. ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS AND MISCELLANEOUS

Subtotal for admin. and misc.                     = 1,050 USD.

===============================================

GRAND TOTAL                                          = 7,000 USD

===============================================

 Average cost per piece  300/- TShs ( = 0.15 us cents each)

 

The viewers can be to be distributed in Primary and Secondary Schools and other educational institutions and the general public. 

 With 50,000 pcs, about 10 pcs for each school could be provided.  Since the eclipse progresses over several hours, each class can share a viewer.

 

The cost is also low enough for ordinary people to purchase so extra viewers could be sold for about 500/= each (.25 us cents ecah).  Schools can also buy extra viewers because of their low cost and also encourage parents to purchase them.

This is the website of the suppliers of the special filter material:

http://www.thousandoaksoptical.com/solar.html

This website provides details of the manufacturing process of the solar viewers:

http://www.eclipseafrica.org/Info/MakeViewers.shtml

and at our website:

http://www.astronomyintanzania.or.tz/

 

 

  Risks and Challenges

If we receive partial funding the minimum quantity of 20,000 viewers or even 10,000 pcs can be manufactured for which economies of scale keeps the cost reasonable.  The viewers will then be distributed to public schools and nearby schools can be asked to share the few viewers.

We may have to overcome challenges in distribution of the viewers if the manufacturing is delayed. We hope to use the networks of the local governments to make sure that all schools receive the glasses in time.

Another challenge will be to meet the demand from the public if their demand increases beyond this capacity.  We hope to convince local entrepreuners to take up manufacturing since they can sell the viewers at very affordable price of 500/= which is equivalent to 25 US Cents.

It will be a challenge to make sure that the solar viewers are not mishandled once they are received by the schools so as to make sure that viewers are not damaged to allow the sun to filter through.  We will make sure the solar viewers are protected in sleeves in which they can be safely stored for future use also.

Team

  • Project Leader: Faculty of Science Technology and Environmental Studies, The Open University of Tanzania (University)
  • Location: Open University of Tanzania, Kawawa Road, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  • Organizer:

    Noorali Jiwaji

    Contact the organizer

Select a reward

Help 50,000 Tanzanian Students View the Solar Eclipse

Assemble 50,000 affordable, safe Solar Eclipse Viewers in Tanzania at very low cost and distribute to schools and public across the country