We live in a rural area where students are able to see the stars and planets and are intrigued by them. They know that something vast and amazing is out there, and would love to take things to another level by being able to see objects in our solar system, in our galaxy, and beyond.
We are a rural school district in Central Washington.
All three schools are on a single campus, with about four hundred students at the high school. A lot of the students' parents are field laborers with limited proficiency in English. The percentage of students who qualify for free lunch is so high that it is cheaper to give all students free lunch than track the money from the ones who do not qualify. Approximately 80% of our students are Mexican.
The vast majority of the students appreciate the value of a good education and work to take advantage of what is being offered to them. They benefit immensely from hands on activities.
Looking through a telescope is a revolutionary experience. It is what allowed Galileo to break through centuries of dogma and launched the scientific revolution that continues to this day.
For an individual, the first look at the moon or a planet or a galaxy is a personal revolution. The pictures in books simply can not compare to observing the celestial bodies through a telescope with your own eyes. These items will allow my students to experience astronomy rather than just read about it.
Even more, it will allow them to become astronomers. They will be able to make their own measurements of the heavens and formulate their own questions. They will learn that astronomy is done in the skies and not in a book.
Ultimately, I hope to form an astronomy club open to all grade levels so that children can see the skies with their own eyes as early as possible.
This donation will make the universe come alive for my students.
Too many people can name planets but not identify a single one in the sky. This item will allow my students to see that science is an active process and one they can participate in, rather than a body of facts to be memorized.
Ultimately, it will leave my students with a sense of awe and wonder that I hope they will carry with them through the rest of their lives.
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