AAS Meeting #193 - Austin, Texas, January 1999
Session 114. Funding of Educational Initiatives in Astronomy and Space Science
Special, Oral, Saturday, January 9, 1999, 10:00-11:30am, Room 9 (A and B)

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[114.04] The Network for Astronomy in Education in Southwest New Mexico

B. Neely (NFO)

The Network for Astronomy in Education was organized to use astronomy as a motivational tool to teach science methods and principles in the public schools. NFO is a small private research observatory, associated with the local University, Western New Mexico. We started our program in 1996 with an IDEA grant by introducing local teachers to the Internet, funding a portable planetarium (Starlab) for the students, and upgrading our local radio linked computer network.

Grant County is a rural mining and ranching county in Southwest New Mexico. It is ethnically diverse and has a large portion of the population below the poverty line. It's dryness and 6000' foot elevation, along with dark skies, suite it to the appreciation of astronomy.

We now have 8 local schools involved in astronomy at some level. Our main programs are the Starlab and Project Astro, and we will soon install a Sidewalk Solar System in the center of Silver City.

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