An optics education program designed around experiments with small telescopes

Stephen M. Pompea, Robert T. Sparks, Constance E. Walker, Erin F.C. Dokter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


The National Optical Astronomy Observatory has led the development of a new telescope kit for kids as part of a strategic plan to interest young children in science. This telescope has been assembled by tens of thousands of children nationwide, who are now using this high-quality telescope to conduct optics experiments and to make astronomical observations. The Galileoscope telescope kit and its associated educational program are an outgrowth of the NSF sponsored "Hands-On Optics" (HOO) project, a collaboration of the SPIE, the Optical Society of America, and NOAO. This project developed optics kits and activities for upper elementary students and has reached over 20, 000 middle school kids in afterschool programs. HOO is a highly flexible educational program and was featured as an exemplary informal science program by the National Science Teachers Association. Our new "Teaching with Telescopes" program builds on HOO, the Galileoscope and other successful optical education projects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOptics Education and Outreach
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
EventOptics Education and Outreach - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 1 2010Aug 1 2010

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherOptics Education and Outreach
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Kits
  • Optics education
  • Outreach
  • Telescope

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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