AOAS has been the recipient of yet another telescope donation. The anonymous donor simply asked me to, "Find someone who can make good use of it", and then my mind started whirring, a dangerous time for anyone around me, granted, but suddenly I came up with an idea. This telescope will NOT be for use by any single individual.
Instead, why not make this 8" Orion Dobsonian mounted telescope available to our area schools for their own use? But which school? Then I thought, "What if we make some kind of a simple contest, where the winning school would take possession of this telescope for either 6 months, or, possibly up to a year?"
Our committee members and I started tossing the concept around and we think we've got an exciting idea in the works. The contest may be just as simple as taking essays written by area schools, which would simply explain, 1) Why they deserve to use the telescope, and 2) What they would do with it while they have the scope?
What follows now are our members thoughts on how we'll go about doing this. We welcome further suggestions from the public, but we especially hope to gain some suggestions from area teachers. If you are a teacher, or if you know one, spread the word about our idea and ask them to reply. Have them just click on "reply" and tell us their, and/or your, suggestions about this idea.
i suggest keeping it. letting other schools be aware they can use it. if we
give it to one school, it will sit a lot. when one school isnt using it,
another may. D.G.
Sounds wonderful....We just need to make sure that the scope is used, not abused. Maybe a month or two to a teacher or a principle, rather than a year.............This would give more student exposure to the equipment and more advertisement for the club......
That said, my vote will go with the major consensus of the Exec Comm.
I agree with your ideas. I also think Hackett should be the ones
to get the scope for the Spring 2008 semester. We already know
they have a program in place and will be sure to use it.
This can be a good PR program for AOAS. It will also be open to
any of the schools, including Hackett to apply for its use in
the fall of 2008 for the next year (or semester?). I think that
the use for a year may be best for the schools program. We can
begin getting the applications out in the spring of 2008 so that
schools will have time to apply. Applications need to have a
deadline for applying though.
I really like the "year-at-a-time" loan with something like an essay
contest, or some other contest. I'd hate for an entire deserving school
to lose out to one talented student in another school, even though the
second school as a whole may not be as exuberant about astronomy as the
Anyway - that's my take on things.
What a great way to get more astronomy into schools in the area.
Personally, I think a one year loan situation is much better
than giving it away to one school. With all the changes in
schools (both administration and teachers), I can see where it
could very easily end up in a closet when the teacher that is
using it may leave a school. Then no one will get any use of it.
By loaning this on a yearly basis, we can work with the teacher(s)
and school that has the scope, and make sure it gets some good use. IF a school is really interested in having the astronomy portion of the curriculum continued by a teacher, there would likely be a good chance that the school would then buy a scope for the program, or even work to get one donated thru a local business or possibly thru their PTA organization. That would get the program going in that school with the AOAS loaner scope and then moving it to another school to get the program in astronomy started there.
I also like the idea of having it a competitive thing for getting
it for a year. It wold be more meaningful to a school it they were
selected on a competitive basis rather than just having us select
them out of the blue. This would build some pride in having put
up some form of documentation for earning the right to use the scope. What that documentation may be, would have to be established by AOAS. Just off the top of my head, without really thinking this through, I would say that some kind of short questionnaire could be set up by AOAS, as an invitation to participate in a request to have the scope for a year. This could explain WHY they think they need to
have the scope; HOW will this enhance their educational program in science/math/etc.; WHO would be responsible for using it; WHAT kind of curriculum project will this be applied to and how will it fit in with those curriculum lessons. Also, does the school have a SECURE storage area for the scope when it is not in use? Would the teacher(s) using the scope like some additional training in its use prior to use, after the selection process is completed by AOAS. We may even want to offer some suggestions to enhance any lessons that teacher(s)may wish to have help with presenting astronomy to their students.
Don't know if any of this will be of help to you or make any sense.
This is only my 2 cents worth of input that you were requesting on this matter. Good Luck,
Yeah, we could really have something with this. I like your ideas too, I think doing something like this would probably the best way to reach theschools!
Okay, I like the essay contest idea. If we're going to do that, then that would have to get out into the media. Something like this could be very goodfor the club.
Let's say every year, a school must write an essay for why they want to use the telescope and what they're going to do with it. Then we'll select the best school and they won't be eligible again for, let's say 5 years. If they are going to take the time to do the essay with why and how they're going to use it, they are more then likely going to use it.
But like I said, tell the news what we want to do for the schools. They would certainly do a story on that. That's my idea in a nutshell.