400 years of the astronomical telescope!

Seen on Random Specific

"The UNESCO supported International Year of Astronomy 2009 is a global tribute which celebrates the 400th anniversary of the first use of an astronomical telescope by Galileo Galilei. The central theme of the year long program is The Universe, Yours to Discover. A former student of mine from the National Institute of Design in India, Kathan Kothari, was involved in a brilliant local initiative last month for the 100 Hours of Astronomy project which was observed simultaneously by countries across the globe."

This mobile exhibition traveled in various local neighborhoods and slums in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. The cart's operators provided information about the history of the telescope, various astrological facts, special viewers to examine the sun, telescopic viewings, quizes and drawing contests. More information about the project can be found here.

Mobile education units, like the astrology cart, have inspired me to potentially develop my own mobile teaching device through a group I founded, There Once Was A Rebellion. The idea is to have a cart that teaches DIY media techniques to empower inner city youth with a voice that isn't limited to a graffiti tag.

On a side note about Galileo's acts of dissent:
The Catholic Church forced Galileo on house arrest, as a response to his observations of the universe. Therefore, Galileo arranged for his middle finger to be sent to the Pope - after his death of course. If you don't believe me; learn more about Galileo's act of rebellion here.

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