Hundreds of thousands of school children around the country will be able to explore the Moon, planets, and our galaxy thanks to a $250,000 donation by Ric and Jean Edelman.
The Edelmans, founders of Edelman Financial Services, one of the country's leading independent financial advisory firms, have donated $250,000 to the American Astronomical Society to fund the acquisition and distribution of more than 15,000 Galileoscopes to schoolteachers nationwide and train them on adding the telescope kits to their curriculum. The program is operated in partnership with the National Optical Astronomy Observatory.
The Galileoscope is a high-quality, low-cost telescope designed for the 2009 International Year of Astronomy that enables its users to see celestial wonders that Galileo Galilei first glimpsed 400 years ago, including the craters of the Moon, Saturn's rings, and four moons circling Jupiter. Long-time astronomy buffs, Ric and Jean are making the donation to help improve math, science, and technology literacy in America's classrooms.
"The Edelman Galileoscope will enable thousands of teachers to reveal the mysteries of the universe to their hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren across the country," said Ric Edelman, chairman and CEO of Edelman Financial. "Astronomy is the world's oldest science, and one of the most exciting. We hope to inspire the next generation of scientific discovery by encouraging thousands of students to study math and science, and Jean and I are honored to be a part of this important project."
The donation Ric and Jean have made to the Galileoscope program will eliminate the financial barrier that many teachers face in bringing high-quality hands-on teaching tools into the classroom.
The more than 15,000 telescopes that they have provided will bring a hands-on learning experience to more than 300,000 students nationwide and train nearly 4,000 teachers in the proper use of the Galileoscope kit in the classroom. "The Edelmans' generosity and the impact it will have is nothing less than astronomical!" said Kevin Marvel, Executive Officer, American Astronomical Society.
"This donation of Galileoscopes is an important investment in education and greatly appreciated by our Galileoscope project team," said Stephen Pompea, Manager of Science Education, National Optical Astronomy Observatory. "With these Galileoscopes, a large number of teachers will have a new tool to promote math and science literacy and to illuminate the scientific process. Students in any location, from the largest cities to the most rural areas, can now make their own observations of the Moon and planets and pursue authentic scientific investigations using the standards-based educational activities developed for the Galileoscope." Pompea added, "The Galileoscope will prove to be an exemplary tool to help students develop the observational and critical thinking skills necessary for our future leaders."
Ric and Jean have a long-standing fascination with and dedication to the scientific study of celestial objects. The couple funded the Ric and Jean Edelman Planetarium at Rowan University, which includes a 16-inch telescope that feeds live images of the sky to the planetarium's 40-foot-diameter dome.
In 1987 Ric and Jean Edelman co-founded Edelman Financial Services, which manages more than $4 billion for 12,500 clients nationwide and has 10 offices. Ric Edelman was recently ranked by Barron's as the No. 1 independent financial advisor in the country. He is also a New York Times bestselling author and the host of the nationally syndicated radio program The Ric Edelman Show.
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