Overview of the project

Project leader: Douglas Arion, darion@carthage.edu
Project location: Boston, New York, Philadelphia, U.S.A.

Project description:
Carthage College and the Appalachian Mountain Club will deliver astronomy and nature education and outreach through the Youth Opportunities Program, which addresses underserved inner city youth in poorer areas of the northeast US. This is an important audience, as their home environments do not permit them to experience the natural night sky, nor are they able to see the linkages between astronomical phenomena and the natural world around them.

By leveraging the organizational structures already in place, the proposed program will not only directly approach many such individuals, but prepare their teachers and group leaders to bring astronomy content to student groups indefinitely into the future. The specific request is for travel funds (to reach these audiences) and funds for a portable planetarium dome so that the ‘natural’ night sky can be brought to these students.

We hope to engage the participants of the Youth Opportunities Program, made up of students at schools in inner-city, disadvantaged neighborhoods, with content in astronomy and nature education drawn from our ongoing outreach program, emphasizing hands-on experiential learning activities. We expect to:

1. Reach several hundred Youth Opportunities Program participants with programming, and demonstrate significant impact through externally managed assessment activities including formal assessment and interviews

2. Provide training and instruction to at least 20 Youth Opportunities Program instructors and docents, to permit them to provide astronomy and nature education content to future groups of Youth Opportunities Program participants. This will be measured through hands on demonstrations by the instructors at the end of their training and instruction.

About the project leader:
Dr. Douglas Arion is a Professor of Physics and Astronomy and the Director of Carthage Institute of Astronomy. He is also the founder of the GalileoScope programme.