The story of young engineer Rockiel is inspiring. That's cool. Keep up the good work. I volunteer sometimes with an amateur astronomy group that goes out to elementary schools to "star parties" -- the only celebrities are Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter. The kids and their parents who show up are so excited and interested. Usually the groups are very multicultural -- often the parents are immigrants and the kids may be 1st generation American. It's heartwarming to see the parents get so excited when they see Saturn or Jupiter through a telescope. The kids are excited too, of course, but I like see the parents get into it with them. Even when you go to places that don't need any encouragement, such when our group went to Earth Day at Qualcomm (where for Earth Day means tests drives in Teslas), even then the engineers are thrilled and fascinated to see telescopes, especially the DIY telescopes.
Susan, those Star parties sounds so cool. I would love to go on one of those star gazing excursions. I'm so glad to hear that kids, and their families, get the opportunity to learn about astronomy in this fun way. Thank you for your volunteer work!!
Erin, I am from Africa (Zimbabwe, a bit south of Tanzania). You don't say if you have been there before, but I think you will be impressed by the keenness of African kids to learn. This is a generalisation of course, but as there is little or no welfare in Africa, education is a ticket out of poverty. The cradle to grave welfare societies of the west don't give the same incentive, and in many ways they are poorer for it.
Hi David! No, I have not been to Africa before but Mama Hope parnters with community leaders in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Ghana and I have learned so much about their collaborations from the amazing people who run Mama Hope. It's the community leaders in these countries who are making change and building the educational systems but they do need financial input in order to achieve their goals, and that's where we come in! I've read profiles on some of the students who have already graduated from St. Timohty's who are eager to continue their education. And they dream big ... they want to be doctors, lawyers and engineers! As well, I've been in direct contat with the community leader for St. Timohty's school, James Nathanial, who started the school in 2003 and I understand from him how much the children love to go to school. I cannot wait to meet all of them in person and do my part in helping them to transform their community. Thank you for your input!
Instead of pitying Africa, that probably deserves a little bit more respect than that, you should mind you own country. USA is the country of inequalities and poverty. Some people cannot even afford a doctor, not to mention a dentist. And they are not exactly you typical bum. At least 20 millions of them. Unless you are a champion in a rewarding field, you ll struggle to get access to a correct university.
But you would have enough of one day to help africa? No seriously, african people deserve better than coca cola, hamburgers and ... evangelization.
Agreed, though I don't think Africa is this point of this story. Yes, the U.S. needs to step up its game in getting all our citizens a good education and positioned for good careers, in STEM fields or otherwise. We need to improve our infrastructure, etc. etc. The point here is I know there are engineers out there working in their spare time on projects that improve their communities and the lives of fellow citizens. I'd like to hear those stories. Africa isn't the focus here, although the author happens to be doing a project in Africa. (Apparently, the organization she's going through stresses community involvement -- the community makes the choice for what the goals are. I'm not sure about evangelism in the religious sense.)
U.S. has a ways to go. Many countries are in the same boat or worse off in some ways. The goal here is NOT to compare countries or continents but share problem solving stories and to give a shout out to engineers pitching in.
Education is a necessity, sure, but what also is a necessity is clean water and healthy food. You cannot expect sick children to live happy if they get education. The ticket out of poverty may be education, but it's not the ticket out of hunger.