The Sciences

A click a day helps astronomers help kids

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitSep 1, 2010 3:35 PM

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If you've read my blog for any length of time, you've read about my friend Nicole, aka Noisy Astronomer. She's a young grad student studying radio astronomy at the University of Virginia (my alma mater!), and she's very gung ho about astronomy outreach. In a recent post about comets, I mentioned her and a project she and a bunch of other grads are working on: Dark Skies, Bright Kids. This is a terrific project that is doing a lot to bring the joy and wonder of astronomy to third graders in Albemarle County, the home of UVa (if you saw my show "Bad Universe" where I made the comet, I got that recipe from Nicole and DSBK!). One of their efforts is a bilingual book designed to make astronomy fun for the kids -- I have a copy, and it's very cute; as someone who has worked on astronomy education I know kids that age will love it. Nicole and her group have a big goal for the book, too: they're looking to get a copy of it into the hands of every single third-grader in the county. To do this, they applied for a Pepsi Refresh Grant, which, if they win, will get them $25,000! And you can help: all you have to do is go to the page and click a link to vote for them. To be fair, surf around and look at the other applicants if you want; there are other worthy efforts. But I'm voting for DSBK because I know how important it is to get kids to look up and have a sense of wonder about the Universe around them. They also put together a short video of the children having fun while learning science: Voting is open now, closes September 30, and once you sign up you can vote once per day. Thanks!

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