Starry Sky Austin - Telescopes to Guatemala

by Astronomers Without Borders
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  • This campaign successfully raised
    $380 with 2 backers
    on February 14, 2016
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Starry Sky Austin wants to provide telescopes and training to schools in Guatemala

  Education, 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 Amy Jackson, founder of Starry Sky Austin:


Starry Sky Austin began about 7 years ago.  I studied physics in college, revamped our university's telescope and observatory and taught science after graduating from Rice University with a Master in Science Teaching.  After starting a family, I began Starry Sky Austin in order to teach my passion, fulfill a need  (Texas lacks seriously in teaching the earth and space sciences in the classroom but we're doing much better!) and have the flexibility to be home with my children. One of my goals is to make astronomy accessible to all. I have created a unique curriculum for night time astronomy classes with a focus on hands-on, experiential lessons that allow the students to really gain confident in telescope use and their knowledge of astronomy.  I teach ages 8 and up including adults. I am also an educator at Reimers Ranch Observatory on the weekends.

Amy Jackson (right of center) running a sidewalk astronomy session

You can visit the Starry Sky Austin site here:, and read my blog posts and see some of my past activities.

Being half-guatemalan, I grew up traveling to Guatemala each summer to visit family. Recently, we brought our 3 daughters and my immediate family to Guatemala to go to a cousin's wedding and visit family. I have always wanted to bring my programs to people who would never have the opportunity to look through a telescope or learn how to use one on their own. I thought the best place to start was somewhere close to my heart and my heritage. I want to bring my knowledge of astronomy and the educational activities I do in the US to the children of La Escuela Oficial Rural Mixta on the coffee plantation Finca La Merced in Guatemala

This project will bring a new perspective and new knowledge to the children and families who work at the Finca La Merced and attend their school. I will use the funds to purchase two telescopes to leave at the school with continued Skype support from me when I return to the US.

The children of La Escuela Oficial Rural Mixta on Finca La Merced in San Martin Jilotepeque, Guatemala.

I want to buy 2 4.5" Funscope Astrodazzles. I have been using Funscopes in my classes to teach beginners for over 7 years and they work very well.


I am traveling to visit the school and teach the week of February 15th-19th, so I will help them with setting up and using the telescopes then.

Various Starry Sky Austin activities.

  Budget Breakdown

I have already done some fundraising myself, so this campaign will be helping to get me over the line.
Travel costs $247
Printing and translating Sky Wheels $20
-$482 Amount already raised
Total remaining = $212
+ Fiat Physica fees (8%) and AWB costs = $71
Total = $270

  Risks and Challenges

Most of the work has already been done on this project, including raising a large portion of the funds. So the biggest challenge will be the ongoing support of the school once I return to the US. I will be holding regular Skype sessions with the school to discuss new activities and provide technical assistance



Starry Sky Austin - Telescopes to Guatemala

Starry Sky Austin wants to provide telescopes and training to schools in Guatemala