RASC Victoria Centre donates Galileoscopes to area schools

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John McDonald and Tom Ferris with Galileoscopes


The Galileoscope is one of the cornerstone projects of International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA).  It is a high-quality, low-cost, easy-to-assemble 50 mm aperture refractor telescope kit which will enable anyone to see the celestial wonders that Galileo first glimpsed 400 years ago. Accompanying the kit are curriculum materials for teachers designed to foster active enquiry, cooperative learning, testing of ideas and predictions, and hands-on experimentation. The Galileoscope gives students a memorable experience at the eyepiece and increases their understanding and sense of wonder at light, optics, and astronomy.

As John McDonald, RASC Victoria Centre President presented Galileoscopes to Tom Ferris, Chair of the Victoria School Board, he said "We hope that the experience of assembling and using a Galileoscope will give students a memorable experience and increase their sense of wonder at Galileo's achievement."

"Anything you can do that inspires confidence in students and teachers around science is a good thing," Ferris said. "To have a resource like this in your classroom makes a big difference."

Sid Sidhu, Director of Telescopes for Victoria Centre and their IYA Coordinator states, "Optics is a big part of the Grade 8 curriculum and after consultation with teachers, the general consensus was that the Galileoscope would be an appropriate resource material. Assembling the telescopes and then analyzing how various parts fit together would be a great exercise of discovery for students. Based upon the response from all three school districts, we have donated almost 100 scopes for distribution, and we still have a few extras in case more requests come in."

The Victoria Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada has been active since 1914 in bringing astronomy to the general public in Greater Victoria. Victoria Centre's School Telescope Program has provided astronomy speakers for classroom presentations, as well as night sky viewing for students and their families since 1994.

Galileoscopes - RASC Victoria Centre online photo gallery

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Telescope donation celebrates International Year of Astronomy - by Jeff Bell, Times Colonist, Nov 29, 2009

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Last updated: January 29, 2014

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