Slooh, the only organization offering live online telescope feeds of amazing astronomical events to students, and the West Sound STEM Network recently expanded their partnership to help more teachers and students throughout northwest Washington State engage in space exploration that is aligned with state and national standards. After successfully providing a number of Network member schools with access to Slooh’s robotic telescopes and patented Mission Interface last year, West Sound STEM Network is now expanding the program to reach 250 teachers and 10,000 students. This comes as Slooh works toward its goal of helping one million students nationwide experience the wonder of space from their classroom and home computers.
“Our partnership with Slooh is – and has been – highly inspirational for our teachers and students,” said Dr. Kareen Borders, executive director of the West Sound STEM Network. “Our schools are actively exploring the moon, Mars, and beyond in real time!”
Serving the Olympic and Kitsap peninsulas, the West Sound STEM Network is a public-private regional network committed to building PreK-career pathways to postsecondary credentials and a stronger STEM workforce. The cross-sector network of businesses, school districts, education agencies, higher education institutions, Career and Technical Education (CTE) practitioners and providers, government, military, community, Tribes, library systems, nonprofits, out-of-school providers, and workforce development agencies introduce and link students, teachers, and the community to high-quality STEM resources, such as Slooh.
With Slooh, students can view phenomena such as lunar changes, solar flares, asteroids, living and dying stars, and a variety of nebulae in real-time using Slooh’s Mission Interface and user-controlled network of robotic telescopes in the Canary Islands and Chile. And, educators are supported by Slooh’s astronomy team and receive robust professional development and product training to ensure that all students have access to celestial phenomena.
“We are capturing images of the phases of the moon to correlate with our Night Sky observations. Students are using images that they capture to talk about clarity and atmospheric aberrations,” said Kirsten Swan, astronomy teacher at Gig Harbor High School in the Peninsula School District in Gig Harbor, Washington. “By being able to compare ground-based imaging with space-based imaging, students are engaged in authentic astronomy conversations that are aligned with Next Generation Science Standards. I’m a better teacher because of this.”
“Slooh provides a window into space and allows phenomena-based learning to occur in any school, classroom, or home across the world,” said Michael Paolucci, founder of Slooh. “By working with respected partners like West Sound STEM Network, we look forward to continuing to engage even more students in meaningful scientific discovery and STEAM learning.”
As part of its commitment to reaching more students, Slooh recently launched The Slooh Space Exploration Grant for the 2021-2022 school year. The rolling grant will provide one teacher per every accredited public school in the United States with access to the Slooh interface, robust professional development, and 40 student seats which will enable students to use robotic telescopes to view space phenomena, capture observational data, and engage in gamified learning.
To learn more about Slooh and to apply for The Slooh Space Exploration Grant, visit Slooh.org.
The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.