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Family ASTRO in Chile and Argentina (2005, 2006)

In mid-2005, Maria Antonieta Garcia, the public information and outreach officer (PIO) for the Gemini Observatory in Chile, invited Connie Walker, site leader for Project ASTRO and Family ASTRO programs at NOAO, to conduct a pilot training session in Chile for event leaders on two of the Family ASTRO themes. Thanks to excellent support by ASTRO home office staff at the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP), all of the key materials in the leader and family kits for the Moon Mission and Night-Sky Adventure kits were translated into Spanish, and were ready for the training in Chile in December 2005. Fifteen educators from nine different institutions were invited to the event-leader training. Most of the participants were teachers from schools of various grade levels in La Serena, Chile, and surrounding towns. Seven Chilean institutions from the initial cohort of trained event leaders conducted a total of 10 Family ASTRO events in 2006, with an average attendance of 10 families, 23 adults and 19 children per event.

Three participants at the original training came from Buenos Aires, Argentina, including the local PIO coordinator for Gemini, Viviana Bianchi. Viviana was so excited about the activities and the December 2005 training in Chile that she hosted a December 2006 training in Argentina and invited C. Walker back to give the same two workshops near Buenos Aires at the Observatorio Nacional de La Plata to 28 participants. The following week, training workshops on the remaining two themes (Race to the Planets and Cosmic Decoders) were given to an additional 25 participants in La Serena, Chile. These efforts were coordinated by V. Bianchi in Argentina and A. Garcia in Chile, with A. Garcia tirelessly translating at all four workshops. Once again, ASP came through with Spanish translations for all of the family handouts and game instructions for the remaining two themes. These translations and the materials in the kits provided a “turn-key” program that has proven to be adaptable and successful with a wide variety of cultures, social groups and educational levels. Dates for more than 25 Family ASTRO events in Chile during 2007 were assigned to the newly trained event leaders directly at the end of the training workshop, toward a goal of doubling the 376 people reached in 2006.

Family Astro South America
Family ASTRO South America

Family Astro Chile
Family ASTRO Chile

Family Astro Argentina
Family ASTRO Argentina





Contact the staff of ASTRO-Chile:

Connie Walker, Tucson Site Director

Kathie Coil, EPO Program Coordinator

FAX: 520-318-8451