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S. Pompea, D. Arion, R. Fienberg

Steve Pompea, Doug Arion, and Rick Fienberg with an early prototype of the Galileoscope. Courtesy Andy Fraknoi/ASP.

The Galileoscope, developed for the International Year of Astronomy 2009 and still going strong for the International Year of Light 2015, was a joint effort of the International Astronomical Union’s Galileoscope task group and the American Astronomical Society’s Telescope Kits & Optics Challenges working group, with educational support from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Team members have devoted thousands of hours to the project, almost entirely on a volunteer basis, since its inception in 2006.

Here are some of the key individuals involved with the design and development of the Galileoscope and its educational components:

Dr. Richard Tresch Fienberg: Rick is Press Officer of the American Astronomical Society. As former Editor in Chief of Sky & Telescope magazine, he’s an expert on astronomy education and popularization and is intimately familiar with the amateur-astronomy community, a critical component in the success of the Galileoscope.

Dr. Douglas N. Arion: Doug is Professor of Physics and Astronomy and Director of the Entrepreneurial Studies Program at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Earlier, he led the Applied Physics and Engineering Division at Science Applications International Corp. Doug has nearly 30 years of experience in instrument development, design, and production, commercial ventures, business development and strategy, and economic development. He’s an award-winning telescope maker and is actively involved in a wide variety of astronomy organizations.

Dr. Stephen M. Pompea: Steve is Manager of Science Education at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) in Tucson, Arizona. He leads a dynamic team at NOAO that conducts programs in teacher professional development and optics education and fosters astronomer-teacher research partnerships. Steve has worked on many science-education and optical-engineering projects worldwide and has served as an instrument scientist for the Hubble Space Telescope and Gemini Observatory.

Mr. Robert T. Sparks: Rob, a former high-school physics and math teacher, is a Science Education Specialist in the NOAO Education and Public Outreach department. He played key roles in the development of the Hands-On Optics and Astronomy from the Ground Up instructional materials — inquiry-based informal science-education programs that help kids learn science by doing, making discoveries, and thinking like scientists. He has presented scores of teacher workshops all across the U.S. and in several foreign countries and is an acknowledged master science teacher.