The Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project www.charliebates.org is my heart and soul program.
I started it in 2008 in memory of my friend Charlie and intend it to be a program whereby students and the general public can get exposure to high tech solar observing equipment and the wonderful views offered through them without having to shell out the tens of thousands of dollars necessary to buy this stuff!
I have been lucky in life and have already purchased all of this awesome equipment. I figured ...why hog it all to myself?.. So, I started taking it to schools a few years ago. Now I am booked 5 or 6 months in advance and see over 60,000students per year.
I am a trained and certified NASA Solar System Ambassador and recieve a lot of giveaways from them and Steele Hill at Goddard Space Flight Center. These guys really help out the program.
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (my Union) and the National Black Coalition of Air Traffic Controllers have been incredible in their sponsorship over the years. I am able to give away a free pair of solar viewing glasses to everyone who goes through the program because of their generosity.
My wife and I pay the rest with about 15% of the total of %60k per year coming from private donations. I would love to increase that number and would love your help in doing so. I retire in 2014 and want to continue this program nationwide. Your sponsorship would help.
If you have your own outreach program and would like a pack of glasses sent to you free of charge, just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will see what I can do.
Solar Astronomy Outreach is easy and rewarding. I highly encourage you to set up your equipment anywhere, a street corner, a school, a picnic...whatever. You will be amazed at how many people want to come up and chat.
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this is the main message area for anything solar
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