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West Sound STEM Network Expands Partnership With Slooh to Engage More Students in Space Exploration

Now 250 teachers and 10,000 students in the northwest Washington State-based network will have access to Slooh’s online telescope

Slooh and the West Sound STEM Network recently expanded their partnership to help more teachers bring Slooh’s online telescope, a first of its kind resource offering live feeds of amazing astronomical events, to students throughout northwest Washington. With Slooh, students can view phenomena such as lunar changes, solar flares, asteroids, living and dying stars, and a variety of nebulae in real-time using Slooh’s Mission Interface and user-controlled network of robotic telescopes in the Canary Islands and Chile. After successfully piloting Slooh with a number of its member schools last year, West Sound STEM Network is now expanding the program to reach 250 teachers and 10,000 students.

Image of Saturn taken with the Canary Four telescope
Image of Saturn taken with the Canary Four telescope

“Our partnership with Slooh is – and has been – highly inspirational for our teachers and students,” said Dr. Kareen Borders, executive director of the West Sound STEM Network. “Our schools are actively exploring the moon, Mars, and beyond in real time!”

Serving the Olympic and Kitsap peninsulas, the West Sound STEM Network is a public-private regional network committed to building pathways to postsecondary credentials and a stronger STEM workforce. The cross-sector network of businesses, schools, Career and Technical Education (CTE) providers, government, community and tribal leaders nonprofits, workforce development agencies and others introduces and links students, teachers, and the community to high-quality STEM resources like Slooh. While many students miss out on studying astronomy due to lack of access to the necessary equipment, West Sound STEM Network, through its partnership with Slooh, has ensured that its students have the opportunity to get hooked on STEM and develop critical science skills through space exploration

To ensure that West Sound STEM Network educators could confidently get started guiding their students through investigations of celestial phenomena, Slooh’s astronomy team worked with the Network’s leadership to provide customized training, guides and professional development to participating educators. With access to a library of 60+ NGSS-aligned activities for students in middle school through college, West Sound STEM educators found plenty of opportunities to leverage Slooh to support their existing curricula.

“We are capturing images of the phases of the moon to correlate with our Night Sky observations. Students are using images that they capture to talk about clarity and atmospheric aberrations,” said Kirsten Swan, astronomy teacher at Gig Harbor High School in the Peninsula School District in Gig Harbor, Washington. “By being able to compare ground-based imaging with space-based imaging, students are engaged in authentic astronomy conversations. I’m a better teacher because of this.”

Image of the First Quarter Moon taken with Chile One 04/202021
Image of the First Quarter Moon taken with Chile One 04/202021

In collaboration with partners like the West Sound STEM Network, Slooh is working toward its goal of helping one million students nationwide experience the wonder of space from their classroom and home computers.

“Slooh provides a window into space and allows phenomena-based learning to occur in any school, classroom, or home across the world,” said Michael Paolucci, founder of Slooh. “By working with respected partners like West Sound STEM Network, we look forward to continuing to engage even more students in meaningful scientific discovery and STEAM learning.”

As part of its commitment to reaching more students, Slooh recently launched the Slooh Space Exploration Grant for the 2022-2023 school year. The rolling grant will provide one teacher per accredited Title 1 public school in the United States with access to Slooh, as well as robust professional development and 40 student accounts, enabling students to use robotic telescopes to study space phenomena, capture and analyze observational data, and engage in gamified learning.

To learn more about how to bring Slooh to your community, visit our Partner page.

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