Behold the Sky is an ongoing project that consists of loaning of solar PST telescopes and education material to teachers (AstroKits) that receive training in solar astrophysics topics.
- make available 2 new AstroKits (there were 3) as well as reformulate and include new education materials on all kits. We completed 5 Astrokits: We bought 2 PST telescopes with their accessories (tripods, mounts and hand controllers) and 2 adequate cases to keep and transport them. We designed a new version of our educative solar chart and we printed 10000 copies, to include in the AstroKits.
- second objective was a training session for teachers: We completed the “III Encontro de Professores do Projeto Olhai pro Céu” between 11 to 14 November 2019, with 7 invited lecturers and 20 participants. We organized an activity to observe the Mercury transit of 11/November, but the weather was not amenable.
In total, the project reached 61 teachers (35 men/26 women) and 6346 students (between 12 to 16 years old; 55% female). The first use of the new AstroKits was in January 2020, with 11 teachers, that participated in our first meeting. The first loan of them was programmed to March, but because of coronavirus pandemic all the activities were cancelled. So, we haven’t yet had an opportunity to loan our new AstroKits.
The focus was on broadening of actions of Astronomy Education at the schools, and mainly the poorer neighbourhoods of the city. In 2019, some partnerships with schools were susbcribed, and our experience was “an inspiration” to organize an Astronomy group in the Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia (Rio de Janeiro). We hope to complete our goals when the situation post-coronavirus will become normal.