Why invest in Space Education
Astronomy has been shown to be a topic that engages students in STEM concepts that encourages them to follow education and careers in STEM fields, which in turn produces a scientifically literate population and a knowledge based economy. Project Tara will provide students with an introduction to critical skills that they will use to succeed in business, science or any knowledge-based career. Not least of these will be an introduction to new communication skills required to build relationships with cultures and countries beyond their own, arming them with skills that will benefit them throughout their lives and careers
TARA is running sustainable outreach activities which can act as catalysts, motivating students of different ages and education levels. Endorsed by the Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Mr. Enda Kenny, and launched by the San Francisco Mayor, Mr. Edwin Lee, TARA will also inspire Smart STEM education through the use of an array of live-control remote telescopes to engage students in the concepts of Science, Technology, Engineering (Art) and Mathematics (STE(A)M) at an early age – All students under one sky.
Teachers who wish to participate in Tara will be paired with a partnering teacher in the other country. In order to most effectively reach our goals of education equality, we would like to see each partnership have access to their own telescopes, either purchased by the school directly, or co-funded by Project Tara sponsors. The Project Tara team will provide continuous support of the teacher partners and will facilitate a number of “Space Pals” video chats between the partnered class groups and individual student-to-student communications.
Each participating class group will be invited to visit Blackrock Castle Observatory (for Irish schools) and Lick Observatory (for California schools) as a culmination to their participation in Project Tara. At the observatories, they will have an immersive experience into the world of astronomy, and get to “be a scientist” for a day.
The pilot telescope has been successfully installed in Ormondale Elementary school in the outskirts of San Francisco, provided the team the opportunity to identify the best plans for the telescope, conduct ample debugging of the hardware and develop a user interface that can be used from both the USA and Ireland.
We are endeavoring to change lives with Project Tara by catalyzing cultural connections and enhance STEM education across the world. The program bridges connections between continents and amongst communities through inspirational, real-world learning opportunities from a multicultural perspective. It does this by providing live access to a global array of telescopes, acknowledging that we all exist under the one same sky.