TelescopesForTeachersSchool year 2012-2013 is in full swing, and this year something new and wonderful is happening: Children in schools that never before had a telescope are now using Galileoscopes to learn about lenses, telescopes, and astronomy—thanks to generous donors to the Telescopes4Teachers program.  Telescopes4Teachers provides interested teachers with affordable, quality telescopes and the training necessary to help them to become effective teachers of astronomy.

In 2009, millions of people worldwide celebrated the International Year of Astronomy, which marked the 400-year anniversary of the introduction of the telescope by Galileo Galilei and a turning point in the scientific revolution.  To honor Galileo’s legacy, the Galileoscope was developed with a specific goal in mind: to create a simple yet high-quality telescope that could be easily put together and dismantled by students and teachers alike, without need for tools or prior knowledge of how telescopes work.  

The Telescopes4Teachers program went live in March of 2012.  Operated under the auspices of Astrosphere New Media Association, Telescopes4Teachers allows anyone, anywhere, to donate a telescope or set of telescopes to a school of his or her choice, or to a general fund which matches Galileoscopes with schools and programs which request them.  In addition, Telescopes4Teachers has partnered with the Galileo Teacher Training Program (GTTP) to identify and train teachers on how to teach astronomy to their students.  

With shrinking school budgets coupled with a strong push toward STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education, teachers struggle now more than ever to provide their students with engaging experiences that will ignite a life-long passion for science.  Telescopes4Teachers supplies not just equipment but the knowledge needed to use it as a successful teaching tool, preparing students for future careers in the sciences. Students can also recreate history as they learn first-hand exactly how Galileo created the first telescope—and re-live his observations of the craters on the moon, Jupiter’s largest satellites, and Saturn’s beautiful rings.  

The Galileoscope is a small refractor (lens-based telescope) designed to be put together by students.  Assembly takes only minutes and requires no tools, tape, glue, or other nonsense. The Galileoscope can be used in the classroom to investigate how lenses make images and outside under the stars as a tool for cosmic exploration.

With a donation of only $50, anyone can gift a Galileoscope to a deserving school—or sets of 6 kits can be donated for $200.  Donated telescopes are tax deductible through Astrosphere New Media Association (A U.S.-based 501(c)3).  For more information on the Telescopes4Teachers program or to donate, visit the Galileoscope website at: