Pedro Saizar


In a few hours, AWB's campaign to help children in rural Patagonia will be over.

The February 26 solar eclipse will sweep over farms and towns in southern Argentina. A land of harsh winters and long distances to travel. "Patagonia is bleak", paleontologist George Simpson wrote back in the 1930s, although he valued and praised its many beauties.

By the shores of the Atlantic, the town of Camarones is expecting many local families to show up for the eclipse observations. An exciting departure from their daily routine that includes algae collecting (photo), and farming.

alga collecting

Photo caption: high-school students from Chubut Province collect algae for a science fair project. This is an important economical resource for some communities. (Photo credit: Chubut Ministry of Education

At the Trelew Astronomy Center (200 miles North from Camarones), a group of volunteers including myself have been helping to organize the activities for the eclipse sighting. In fact, I will travel to Camarones in a few hours to lecture about this phenomenon, so they are ready for it.

Why is this important? Many children will grow up to follow their parent's footsteps or do various tasks. Some study in technical high-schools, but very, very few will ever attempt to go into college. Rarely science comes to their lives in a way they can recognize it. This is, then, our chance to show a bit of science (Astronomy), and give inspiration a chance to bloom.

I hope you will join me in this effort to provide more children with safe solar glasses. Half of the glasses will go to Esquel and Facundo, on Western Chubut province, and the rest will come to Trelew and Camarones.

Finally, I would like to thank Mike Simmons and the staff at AWB for their unfailing effort to sustain this campaign. And a big THANKS to every friend around the world who already contributed.

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    About Me

    Astronomer (PhD from Ohio state University), and educator. Outreach/ education coordinator at the Museum of Paleontology Egidio Feruglio. Advisor with local "Friends of Astronomy" group.


    Location:Trelew, Chubut
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