The galileoscope project: Community-based technology education in Arizona

Stephen M. Pompea, Leonard W. Fine, Robert T. Sparks, Constance E. Walker, Charles L. Dugan, Erin F.C. Dokter

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


A program model has been developed and implemented over the last three years to provide a robust optical technologybased science education program to students aged 9-11 years (5th grade), a formative time in the development of a student's interest in science and engineering. We have created well-tested and evaluated teaching kits for the classroom to teach about the basics of image formation and telescopes. In addition we provide professional development to the teachers of these students on principles of optics and on using the teaching kits. The program model is to reach every teacher and every student in a number of mid-sized rural communities across the state of Arizona. The Galileoscope telescope kit is a key part of this program to explore optics and the nature of science. The program grew out of Module 3 of the NSF-Supported Hands-On Optics project (SPIE, OSA, and NOAO) and from the Science Foundation Arizonasupported Hands-On Optics Arizona program. NOAO has conducted this program in Flagstaff, Yuma, Globe, and Safford, Arizona and is being expanded to sites across the entire state of Arizona (295,254 square kilometers). We describe the educational goals, evaluations, and logistical issues connected to the program. In particular, we proposed that this model can be adapted for any rural or urban locations in order to encourage interest in science, astronomy and optics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication12th Education and Training in Optics and Photonics Conference
EditorsManuel Filipe P. C. Martins Costa, Mourad Zghal
ISBN (Electronic)9781628413649
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event12th Education and Training in Optics and Photonics Conference - Porto, Portugal
Duration: Jul 23 2013Jul 26 2013

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


Other12th Education and Training in Optics and Photonics Conference


  • Educational reform
  • Educational systems
  • Optics education
  • Public engagement
  • Technology education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'The galileoscope project: Community-based technology education in Arizona'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this