Telescopes for TanzaniaHere’s a favorite photo from our time in Tanzania last November. Every time we see it, we’re taken back to our classroom at the Mwangaza Center in Arusha. Our two 5-day workshops were a fantastic learning experience and another step forward in supporting the work of teachers and leaders in science, technology, and math in Tanzania.
We also recall when, on the second morning of one of the workshops, a teacher asked if we were really saying that our sun is just an ordinary star. Imagine what a difference this one piece of information will make in her teaching of the solar system from now on!
As we think about the outcomes of our most recent Telescopes to Tanzania event we find that measuring success is a very western concept. In terms of our work in Tanzania it was not about measuring anything, but about relationships that were being built and trust that developed over time.
Our love for astronomy was an important motivator for teachers –at least as important as our teaching skills or the many resource materials we left behind. We were measured and received based on our passion and love for the participants and the vision of the universe that we shared.
Now — seventeen telescopes are being used in classrooms with teachers equipped to teach with them. Now — posters from NASA and the European Southern Observatory adorn over 45 classrooms. Now — materials from rulers to light benches, lenses to sky wheels are being used as teaching tools in schools throughout Tanzania. And now — more than a dozen Galileoscopes that had been sitting on shelves unused, have mounts and teachers who know how to use them.
We give thanks to all who have supported the Telescopes to Tanzania program. Your gifts of money, resources, time and prayers have made a difference.
Have you ever seen the sun? She glows with pride when she demonstrates how light brightens the world around her.
Sue and Chuck Ruehle