Prelude to an Eclipse: Telescopes in the Classroom

by Astronomers Without Borders
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    on October 03, 2016
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These students will have the rare opportunity to experience a total solar eclipse. Help them focus on astronomy throughout the year!

  Outreach, Astronomy

On the path of a total solar eclipse – nature’s grandest spectacle – will pass directly over Trinity Christian School in Rutherfordton, North Carolina, USA on August 21, 2017. In preparation, Trinity has partnered with Science Technology Advanced Resource (STAR) to bring science into the classroom through astronomy, including live online lessons by scientists. This BIG campaign will raise funds for the resources they need for this yearlong astronomy curriculum.

The following is from Priscilla McBrayer, Dean of Faculty of Trinity Christian School

What we need:

We need two OneSky Telescopes to learn how a telescope works and to further our understanding of astronomy firsthand.

Solar Spectroscope kits to learn about the Sun and how astronomers study stars through their light.

Solar filter material for the OneSky telescopes to safely observe the Sun and better understand our closest star.

Why We Need It:

"What Trinity is trying to accomplish is to supplement and enrich our existing science curriculum. We are not implementing a new program but are continuing our partnership with STAR and wanted to use their resources to teach our students and faculty to use telescopes. Dr. Sitar from Appalacian State University will come to us via WebEx to accomplish this. We have three WebEx sessions scheduled... but no telescopes! These lessons will definitely not be as effective without the "real thing". We do not have the resources to purchase them in our budget.”

Building on these initial training sessions, and to foster excitement for science through the study of our Universe, Trinity plans a star party and other events with their pupils’ parents. Trinity also partners with KidSenses, an interactive children’s museum, which brings a planetarium to the school for special presentations.

The culmination will be the total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017.

The resources provided by this BIG campaign will also be shared with Sunshine Elementary. Ms BcBrayer explains that “Sunshine is a K-5 rural school in Rutherford county designated a Chapter 1 school because of their socioeconomic status." 

  Budget Breakdown

$210 - 2 OneSky Telescopes provided at cost (@ $105 each)

+ $100 - 25 Spectroscope kits

+  $80 - 2 solar filter papers to create solar filter for OneSkys ( @ $40 each)

+ $90 AWB expenses and FIat Physica fees (8%) 

= $518.40

  Risks and Challenges

If funding isn’t received for these resources STAR science training would continue as planned but without the excitement of hands-on learning, especially looking through telescopes at the wonders of the Universe. The star party for parents, meant to show how astronomy has enriched their children’s learning experience, also wouldn’t be possible.

Team

  • Project Leader: Astronomers Without Borders (Non-profit)
  • Location: Rutherfordton, NC, United States
  • Organizer:

    Zoe Chee

    Contact the organizer

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Prelude to an Eclipse: Telescopes in the Classroom

These students will have the rare opportunity to experience a total solar eclipse. Help them focus on astronomy throughout the year!