SAN JUAN, PR - On September 21, 2018, 24 teachers from 14 Puerto Rican schools learned how to use telescopes as a teaching tool, as part of their participation in the "Astronomía al Servicio" project.
"Astronomía al Servicio" is a collaborative project between Ciencia Puerto Rico (CienciaPR), Astronomers Without Borders, the Office of Astronomy for Development of the International Astronomical Union, the Instituto Nueva Escuela and the Puerto Rico Astronomy Society. The project seeks to promote education, scientific exploration, and citizen participation through the establishment of astronomy clubs in schools.
During the workshop, which took place at the headquarters of Instituto Nueva Escuela in Río Piedras, the teachers learned about the basic parts and operation of the telescopes that were donated to their schools last May as part of their participation in "Astronomía al Servicio". In addition, educators learned about visual astronomy and how to use the equipment to carry out daytime observations.
Teachers will be using what they learned in the workshop to conduct science lessons using the telescope and astronomical observation activities involving their students and community members during the school semester.
"Astronomy is a discipline of great interest among the public, but few have access to a telescope. "The "Astronomía al Servicio" initiative allows teachers and students to serve their communities by providing the opportunity to observe the universe," said Dr. Greetchen Díaz, Director of Science Education and Community Partnerships for CienciaPR, who leads "Astronomía al Servicio" project and served as one of the facilitators of the workshop. The activity was also facilitated by Prof. Juan Villafañe, President of Puerto Rico Astronomy Society, Prof. Armando Causade, President Emeritus of Puerto Rico Astronomy Society, Ing.Norman Padovani and Prof. Jean-Pierre Bernal.