Our club has a very active partnership with the Coronado K-8 School, which has included club members co-teaching 5th and 7th grade students key concepts of astronomy such as phases of the moon, near earth objects, night skies, and familiarity with the solar system (a program affiliated with Project Astro for the training of the teachers).
In addition, the club uses the Arizona Tax Credit system to provide telescopes for every 5th grade student in the school, as well as send kids to summer Astronomy camp at places like Mt. Lemmon and Kitt Peak observatories.
By the spring of 2017, nearly 600 telescopes have been distributed. Since 2013 the Club has provided scholarships to Coronado K-8 7th graders to attend the Astronomy Summer Camp at Kitt Peak National Observatory. To date over 25 scholarships have been awarded, valued at approximately $1000 each. In addition, the Club has purchased two 8” telescopes for school use. Another 8” telescope was presented to the Wilson K-8 School.
By a rough estimation, SCOV Astronomy club members have directly participated in the education of as many as 2,000 students, a number that will continue to grow over time!
How it Works
Classroom activities are developed in coordination with Coronado School teachers, and are managed by the SCOV Astronomy Club School Outreach team. New volunteers are trained by club members, and provided opportunities to shadow classroom activities in order to gain familiarity with the process.
Funds used to purchase telescopes and provide scholarships are donated through the Arizona State Tax Credit Program. Arizona state taxpayers can donate up to $200 per person or $400 per couple to a school project (limits subject to change). Donations made through this program are direct tax credits, i.e., taxpayers may subtract 100% of the donation from their state tax obligation.
How you can participate
Download the following Donation Form that has been partially filled out to reflect the name of the Coronado K-8 School and the Astronomy Fund which will receive the monies being donated. Here is the partially completed form: AZ Tax Credit Donation Form for Coronado K-8 School.
This program has been extremely successful and has received awards and recognition by the Amphitheater School District and throughout the Tucson community and beyond. Want examples?
b. Certificate of Appreciation given to the Sun City Astronomy Club by the Amphitheater School District in 2015: amphitheater-certificate-final.pdf.
c. The annual distribution of telescopes on Jan. 8 2016 was reported in several Tucson area newspapers including the Arizona Daily Star and the Explorer: http://www.tucsonlocalmedia.com/news/article_0edbb7ca-b984-11e5-a2ef-478d15e04ca4.html