"Thank you so much for visiting our class on Friday! The kids loved it...they thought it was pretty cool to meet a "real" Astronomer! Thanks again, Janine"
Updated March 14, 2011
RASC Edmonton Centre Provides Funding for Science 9 Radio Telescopes
The Edmonton Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada has once again seen fit to dip into Society coffers to support a worthy cause: Sky Scan Science Awareness Project. At the Edmonton Centre’s monthly meeting June 11, the RASC membership overwhelmingly approved the allocation of an additional $7,500 to underwrite hardware costs related to the project, designed to bring hands-on radio astronomy to Science 9 students across Alberta and instruct them in many of the key concepts of Unit E: Space Exploration.
In recognition of the current funding crunch that is afflicting our public schools, Sky Scan has undertaken to raise funds to defray the lion’s share of costs associated with the installation of radio telescopes in schools. These costs had already been pared below the $200-per-installation level for equipment best described as “crude but effective”. Indeed, it is the project’s stated objective to keep the related technology as simple as possible, and therefore more accessible to students’ understanding.
The latest RASC initiative will cover costs of up to 50 radio telescopes through December, 2004, including antenna materials, adapted car radios, and wiring at each installation. School costs related to participating in the project should thus be effectively zero, as schools need simply provide a computer with sound card from existing inventory for data collection purposes. Schools with Industrial Arts labs are encouraged to build their own antennae as a great Grade 9 Construction project, largely with scrap material from inventory, but even these minimal costs will be underwritten for the school in financial hardship.
Sky Scan has deep roots in RASC, who provided the project original seed money of $5,000 in 1999. Both organizations share common objectives in the realm of public education; indeed, most Sky Scan project personnel have been highly active RASC members for years.
The RASC’s financial commitment to making Sky Scan Science Awareness Project as accessible as possible is gratefully acknowledged.