Overview of the project

Project leader: Fabio Del Sordo, fadiesis@gmail.com
Project location: South America

Project description:
GalileoMobile (GM, www.galileo-mobile.org) is a non-profit, itinerant education initiative that brings Astronomy to young people in areas with limited access to outreach programmes. Started in 2009 by a group of volunteers, it now performs astronomy-related activities in schools and communities all over the world, and encourages followup activities through teacher training workshops and the donation of telescopes and educational resources.

Since its creation, GM has organised expeditions to Chile, Bolivia and Peru (2009), Bolivia (2012), India (2012), Uganda (2013), Brazil and Bolivia (2014), and extended actions in Portugal (2012,2013), Nepal (2013) and the United States (2013), reaching over 10,300 students and 1,500 teachers.

With its Constellation project, GM aims to establish a South American network of schools committed to the longterm organisation of astronomical outreach activities amongst their pupils and local communities, and to provide the teachers of those schools with the material, training and support required to do so.

Each school in the network will benefit from:
– the donation of educational material and telescopes;
– a personalised long-distance training program for all educators involved;
– a plan of outreach activities to be carried out at the schools throughout the school year;
– a two-day visit by the GM team, involving outreach activities and teacher training workshops;
– access to an online platform created especially for the network, which will facilitate interactions among the schools and with GM.

The project will involve twenty-one schools in seven countries (Peru, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile and Argentina), directly reaching at least 100 teachers and 6,000 students. Thanks to the long-term sustainability of the project, more students will benefit from the project through events organised independently by the schools. The Constellation project is a Major Cosmic Light programme in support of the IAU’s IYL2015.

Constellation, like all GM projects, aims to encourage a will of learning in young people residing in areas where science-outreach programmes are a rare opportunity, and to inspire students and communities by introducing them to some of most fascinating subjects in astronomy. We aim to provide this opportunity to as large a number of students and locals as possible, through the establishment of a network of schools committed to long-term
pursuit of this programme amongst their pupils and communities, and equipped with the necessary material, training and support to achieve its objective.

By targeting schools located in regions with no access to alternative science outreach programmes, we are aiming to transform the school-nodes of the Constellation network into ‘science lighthouses’ in their communities. These schools can then regularly involve students and locals in astronomy-related activities and sky observations for years to come.

About the project leader:
Dr. Fabio del Sordo is a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University and NORDITA. He is one of the founders of GalileoMobile and has been coordinating GalileoMobile since 2012.