In addition to my role as an educational program specialist at AGI, I am also the director of events for the Federation of Galaxy Explorers
(AGI sponsors the Philadelphia FOGE chapter and our CEO Paul Graziania is a board member). The Galaxy Explorers are working on an exciting STEM outreach project called "Reach for the Stars." On August 1, we are flying to Africa to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, and are raising money to provide Galilean telescope kits to children in Tanzania.
Science education in Africa is often underfunded, understaffed and overlooked. When science does reach the classrooms, it is rare that astronomy and the space sciences are a priority. Galaxy Explorers has made studying the cosmos possible for children in the U.S. by implementing Galilean telescope kits in our school and camp programs. These are easy to assemble, inexpensive and give children (and adults) an opportunity to stargaze without fancy equipment. Galaxy Explorers agreed to donate one telescope for every $20 raised through the Reach for the Stars program. We hope to raise enough money to donate 50 telescopes, and support two 25-child classrooms with these materials. Of course we would like to extend the effort, but we do not underestimate the power of reaching out to even a few children.
In support of this campaign, our director of Mission Teams, Juli, and I will embark on an 8-day climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,341 ft). As we carry the FOGE flag to the top of the world's highest freestanding peak, we hope to inspire children across the world to embark on their own personal journey to "reach for the stars." We are documenting this adventure to share with our Explorers at http://summit2stars.blogspot.com
. Please feel free to follow us; at the very least it should be entertaining as this will be my first time camping. Yes, you read that correctly.
As previously mentioned, every $20 brings one telescope to a child, but every penny counts in the pursuit of growing a stronger STEM generation. If you'd like to be a part of this effort, please visit our donation site: Reach for the Stars