Ariz. - Twenty teachers from the Navajo and Hopi nations will be
participating in Lowell Observatory's Educational Astronomy Program
(LEAP) thanks to a generous grant of $26,000 obtained from the Motorola
Foundation. To date, the program has impacted more than 1,700 students
and 50 teachers since its inception in 1996.
has four main goals: to use astronomy as a vehicle to stimulate
interest in science on the part of Navajo and Hopi children; assist
teachers of Native American students in learning about astronomy
so they can incorporate it in their classrooms; dismiss myths about
scientists and encourage children to consider careers in the sciences;
and to train new generations of Native American children to become
informed consumers of science information.
Motorola Foundation is proud to support LEAP in its efforts to encourage
scientific learning within the Navajo and Hopi communities,"
stated Eileen Sweeney, director of the Motorola Foundation. "LEAP
introduces astronomy to students at a time when they are most inquisitive
about the world, encouraging them to pursue their passion for science."
focus groups are fifth through eighth grade students, targeting
an age when a basic understanding of the Earth and the universe
has been acquired and students have an inherent curiosity. LEAP
is part of Lowell's education and outreach program that welcomes
about 80,000 visitors each year.
is an exciting opportunity for us to share ways of incorporating
astronomy activities in the classroom and we provide all of the
necessary materials," Project Director Deidre Hunter said.
Observatory will offer its regular tours and evening programs throughout
the workshops. For more program information, visit www.lowell.edu.
Observatory is a private, non-profit research institution founded
in 1894 by Percival Lowell. The Observatory has been the site of
many important findings including the discovery of the large recessional
velocities (redshift) of galaxies by Vesto Slipher in 1912-1914
(a result that led ultimately to the realization the universe is
expanding), and the discovery of Pluto by Clyde Tombaugh in 1930.
Today, Lowell's 19 astronomers use ground-based telescopes around
the world, telescopes in space, and NASA planetary spacecraft to
conduct research in diverse areas of astronomy and planetary science.
The Observatory welcomes about 80,000 visitors each year to its
Mars Hill campus for a variety of tours, telescope viewing, and
special programs. Lowell Observatory currently has four research
telescopes at its Anderson Mesa dark sky site east of Flagstaff,
and is building a four-meter class research telescope, the Discovery
the Motorola Foundation
Motorola Foundation is the charitable and philanthropic arm of Motorola,
providing strategic grants, foraging strong community partnerships,
fostering innovation and engaging stakeholders. Motorola Foundation
focuses it funding on education, especially science, technology,
engineering and math programming. For more information on Motorola
Corporate and Foundation giving, visit www.motorola.com/giving.