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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Optics education through the Arizona Galileoscope program
Author(s): Stephen M. Pompea; Robert T. Sparks; Constance E. Walker; Erin F. C. Dokter

Paper Abstract

The National Optical Astronomy Observatory, in collaboration with Science Foundation Arizona and the Arizona public schools, has initiated a program of optics education that has been implemented in the Arizona cities of Flagstaff, Yuma, and Safford. A program is planned for Globe, Arizona and several other locations. The program is aimed at 5th grade teachers and students. It relies on NOAO-developed optics teaching kits designed around the Galileoscope student telescope kits. The program is designed to reach every 5th grade teacher and every 5th grade student in each city. Professional development is provided for the teachers using the NOAO-developed “Teaching with Telescopes” optics teaching kits which are given to each teacher. Each 5th grade student is part of a team building a Galileoscope and receives additional training on how to use the Galileoscope during the day or night. At the end of the training period a large star party is held for all of the students, their families, and their friends. The program is evaluated through the University of Arizona. This model has been successfully implemented during the past two years and we are exploring national replication. This program provides a cost-effective way to inject optics into the schools in an attractive, citywide program model. The talk will discuss the model in detail and some of the mistakes we have made as we have tested the model.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 October 2012
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 8481, Optics Education and Outreach II, 84810F (15 October 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.931007
Show Author Affiliations
Stephen M. Pompea, National Optical Astronomy Observatory (United States)
Robert T. Sparks, National Optical Astronomy Observatory (United States)
Constance E. Walker, National Optical Astronomy Observatory (United States)
Erin F. C. Dokter, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8481:
Optics Education and Outreach II
G. Groot Gregory, Editor(s)

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