The program I have been helping to build for the past year and a half has received some good press in the past month, from school district and department newsletters to the University’s news service, to our local public media affiliate!
I find it easy to talk about the UA Sky School with the media because it is important and powerful. That power comes from reality and rigor. This is not nature camp or space camp. The instructors are prepared with knowledge about unique opportunities to emphasize important scientific standards and the resources to investigate them, but our activities are not simulated and our lessons are not canned. Students on the four day stays especially interact with actual scientists, using actual mountains and plants and telescopes, to do actual original research. The potential to have an epic experience in scientific discovery or outdoor adventure is tangible.
The impending end of the calendar year is a season of reflection and envisioning what the future will hold. In an era of decreasing interest in science, an era of increasing time spent in front of screens, increasing urban populations, here’s to envisioning a future network of such university affiliated outdoor science schools across the country – even across the world – that provide this chance for students to get real and get inspired. And seeing the interest in the UA Science Sky School gives me hope we can make that vision real.