Help us help kids with just a few clicks!

If you know me in person, you’ve probably heard me talk on and on about Dark Skies, Bright Kids, aka DSBK. This is an astronomy club for elementary school kids in Albemarle County, run by volunteers from the Astronomy Department at the University of Virginia. We visit a different school every semester, meeting with the same group of 3rd through 5th graders every week, showing them in a hands-on way just how fun science can be! We teach about rockets, …


… comets,…

Gail Explains Outgassing


… the wonders of the night sky,…

Family Observing

… and so much more. We’ve been able to reach out to a fantastic group of kids and show them the wonders of science through astronomy. They live in a beautiful rural county with gorgeous dark skies, but don’t always have the resources with which to explore them.

Though our volunteer effort is only large enough to handle one group per semester now, we’re looking to extend our reach by publishing a children’s book about astronomy and distributing it to every 3rd grade public school classroom in Virginia. This takes money, and we’ve applied for a Pepsi Refresh Grant to make this happen. All YOU need to do is sign up at the site and vote for our project. You can vote for us once a day, every day, in the month of September!

Book excerpt. Click to embiggen!

I’ve been voting for a bit now for other projects, and haven’t noticed any new spam and no emails from this particular website. If you are really worried, use an email address that you don’t use for your real work or contacts. (But only vote ONCE! Please, don’t vote from multiple email addresses.) DO, however, vote everyday and pass this along to your friends, family, organization, or Facebook and Twitter contacts if you would like to help.

If you have an audience of your own (a blog, a radio show, a podcast, a website, etc.) we would be SUPER appreciative if you passed this on through those means as well! (BIG THANKS to those who have already done or agreed to do so!) Every vote, every day is going to count to get us closer to our goal, and help science education across Virginia.

Want to know more? Please check out our website where we have our mission statement, pictures, links, and free lesson plans of some of our activities that can be adapted for the classroom or home! Feel free to contact us using the email on the website, or me personally, if you have any questions or want to help. And if you are in Charlottesville or Albemarle and really love astronomy outreach, we could use boots-on-the-ground volunteers as well!

Thanks, and clear skies!

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(More on the way. Please let me know if I’ve missed you!)