It was exactly one year ago, on the 2nd of July 2012, when GalileoMobile embarked on a journey on the other side of the world: India. A group of GalileoMobile members together with a group of local astronomers, students, and amateur astronomers worked hand in hand to bring astronomy to the rural schools in the areas between Bangalore and Mysore. Khagol Rath managed to reach out to 1400 students from primary and secondary schools, 100 teachers, and around 2100 local local people. They were exposed to astronomy in diverse forms: interactive talks, games, hands-on activities, and workshops for the teachers. This was the product of the effort of all of our local collaborators and all the GalileoMobile team members, even some of those who did not travel, but worked remotely to arrange logistics, one of the most important things for a successful expedition.
Some of our local collaborators remember this experience one year after!
Smitha Rao — “I had been with the GalileoMobile team for three days. They were really incredible days when I enjoyed, taught some astronomy facts and concepts through activities to little children and was astonished by the teachers’ and locals’ generosity and cooperation towards the GalileoMobile team. In the primary schools I visited, the interaction with the little children was memorable. The kids enjoyed the activities of the solar system, the planets, the moon, and the telescope. The best part is that the locals also joined the children while doing our activities showing their curiosity too towards astronomy!”
Sivashankara Sastry — “Many a time in our country someone has to trigger a programme to go on. GalileoMobile did that among our friends in Kolar. I have to thank GalileoMobile for uniting the amateurs here to form a group and motivating them to go to villages. The schools we have visited continue to call us, and we go regularly to conduct sky shows. The globe you have given us (the Earthball) is most versatile model which is put to use for many experiments. The You are Galileo! telescope is also used mainly to see planets. What is most notable is the participation of public, usually the parents of the children coming to school. This has never happened before!! We have visited the school in Kashettipally, where handicapped teachers works, more than 4 times now. We have visited Cheemabgala three times, and Kamadenahali once, and we hope to keep visiting other schools.”
Hema Bharadwaj — “Being part of the GalileoMobile team was a great experience. The team inspired us to conduct this kind of activities, astronomical activities, for school children. We also had a great fun during our travel and stay 🙂 Thank you very much for visiting India and benefiting our students, and also for motivating many people here to do the follow up activities.”
Pilar Becerra Becerra — “The experience in India reached me profoundly. The memories of the activities in schools, the team and the journey are still portrayed in my mind. Words such as happines, gratitude, beauty, diversity, generosity, come to me when I remember that time, and enlight my daily life. I vividly remember all the special people (teachers, students, collaborators) who got involved in the Khagol Rath expedition, thereby guiding and helping us, with full generosity, to fulfill the goals of the project. Our attempt to share our cosmovisions brought us new perspectives of life. The passion for astronomy tought us how to comunicate not only with words but also through pictures, music, and body lenguaje. A wonderful lesson to learn.”
Part of the GalileoMobile team is currently working on the photobook that will contain pictures and more stories, anecdotes, and impressions from those who travelled. We are eager to share with you all of our experiences!