Help Schoolkids in Africa Participate in November 2013 Eclipse

Article written: 3 Oct , 2013
Updated: 23 Dec , 2015
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Astronomers Without Borders – those great folks who do science outreach around the world – is getting ready for the next solar eclipse, which takes place on November 3, 2013. A partial eclipse will be visible across a wide swath of Africa and AWB needs your help so that tens of thousands of eclipse glasses can be sent to schools in Africa in time for the eclipse.

“We’re working with the IAU’s Office of Astronomy for Development who has contacts working with schools and able to distribute the glasses to them,” Mike Simmons, who leads AWB, told Universe Today via email. “The opportunity for this came up late so we’re working very hard to make it happen in the short time we have left.”

Simmons added that this is a rare opportunity to expose students to science in a region where science resources are often non-existent, and AWB will be giving the glasses to schools at no charge.

But they need donations to make that happen. Click here to find out how to help.

Animation of 2013 November 3 solar eclipse. The large gray circle shows the area of the partial solar eclipse. The very small dark dot in the middle depicts the path of the total solar eclipse. Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center.

Animation of 2013 November 3 solar eclipse. The large gray circle shows the area of the partial solar eclipse. The very small dark dot in the middle depicts the path of the total solar eclipse. Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center.


The AWB website says that schools have been identified and vetted by partner organizations in each country in Africa, and distribution networks have been verified. Every donated pair of eclipse glasses WILL reach a student for use for the eclipse. The International Astronomical Union’s Office of Astronomy for Development, which is based in Cape Town, South Africa, is providing invaluable support and assistance through their many contacts across Africa.

This program depends entirely on donations.

“There’s no question we can get all the donations that are needed as long as we get the word out in time,” Simmons said.

Please consider donating, as AWB does amazing work.

“We do probably a half-million dollars in programs each year based on the hard work of passionate amateur astronomers and educators around the world,” Simmons said, “all on way less than $25,000 a year.”

This is a great astronomy outreach organization that really could use financial help of any kind, so feel free to donate to their general cause, as well.

You can also purchase eclipse glasses for your own use from AWB here.

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