Overview of the project

Project title: eScience Café: Building a global science community
Project leader: Dr. Pamela Gay

We seek funds to provide 6 schools in developing nations the equipment necessary to participate in an eScience Cafe series created within the new Galileo Students Program (GSP – a child project of the the Galileo Teacher Training Program, GTTP). We also seek funds for evaluation. This program brings together youth astronomy groups via a website (galileostudents.org) and Google+. This global community will share in science lectures (at least 8 per year), collaborate on experiments and observing events (at least 6 per year), and participate in science-related contests (at least two per year). The 6 schools funded by this grant will receive web-conference systems and the supplies needed to participate. Our evaluation will determine the effectiveness of our programs and their ability to inspire kids to seek science content.

To be effective, we are pooling resources across multiple teams. Lectures will be organized by CosmoQuest and built using Google Hangouts on Air. This kids targeted series will allow interaction with the speaker and between sites. Experiments and observations will be planned jointly by CosmoQuest, GTTP / GSP, and Astronomers without Borders (AWB), and will allow students to participate in shared experiences such as seeing equinox shadows from multiple locations. Science related contests will be organized by GTTP / GSP.

The 6 sites selected to receive equipment via this grant have GTTP teacher-leaders to facilitate the formation of student groups. An additional 10 European schools are also committed to participating in this extracurricular program using their own resources. The technology used is scalable, and the program will be open to any student group that can be vouched for by a teacher, amateur astronomer, or other trustable individual.

Using the evaluations from this first year, we will seek additional support for evaluation and expansion. Should funding not be available, this program can continue under volunteer leadership.