What Your Gift Will Really Do
Expanding Science Education for Youth & Families
There is a need for high quality experiential science education programs for youth in southern Arizona. Arizona youth lag behind their national counterparts, with just 33% of 4th graders and 25% of 8th graders scoring at or above the proficient level in science. Children need opportunities to see that they can accomplish great things — that they, too, can be scientists. That’s the power and promise of what we do.
The newly expanded Chiricahua Astronomy Complex will offer a more robust science education curriculum, with year-round weekend activities, extended outings, and the addition of an Astronomy Summer Camp for youth. Supported by amateur and professional astronomer members, participants will spend one or several nights learning the science of astronomy using some of the largest privately-owned telescopes in North America. This high-quality, year-round educational programming offers critical building blocks that spur youths’ future interest in STEM education and careers.
We will increase tenfold the number of youth who attend our programs at the site, and shift the usage of the facility dramatically, from the current 250 annually, comprised mostly of TAAA members, to 1,500, comprised of youth, school and family groups.
The Night Sky Learning Center facility will attract more members and volunteers to TAAA, who are in turn able to serve more members of the community through their volunteerism.
The educational facility will give permanence to the club’s contributions to science education in a region of the country where children’s access to science education is abysmal: Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada all rank far below average in preparing students for STEM studies.
- The Chiricahua Astronomy Complex is a 1.5 to 3-hour drive from Tucson and Phoenix, making outings difficult to coordinate without overnight stays — requiring places to eat, sleep, stay warm and use facilities. Each sky viewing night takes at least 7 hours (7pm – 2am).
- Because the skies need to be as dark as possible, visitors cannot light campfires or use any significant lights, which makes outdoor camping difficult for many visitors.
- Many more sky gazing nights will be offered each year as a our community benefits from added indoor space for classroom education, food preparation, eating, and sleeping.
- A permanent Night Sky Observatory and Learning Center will provide the facilities needed for more robust science education programs and summer camps for youth and adults.
- To build a permanent legacy in Southern Arizona where members of our community can share in their love of astronomy and science education.
The $1.5M, three-phase, Gateway to the Galaxy Capital Campaign will further develop a robust and well outfitted astronomy complex, that will bring the wonders of astronomy to young and old alike, educated youth in astronomy, and build a future workforce that meets the challenges of an ever-changing technology world.
This Phase of the Gateway to the Galaxy Capital Campaign will raise $450,000 to build three new buildings and improved grounds, including:
The Night Sky Learning Center
A unique resource not only for Southern Arizona but the entire country. This multi-use building will include a large classroom space with state-of-the-art teaching technologies, a kitchen with food preparation capacity, 7 bedrooms to accommodate 14 guests (2 guests per bedroom), two bathrooms including showers and a septic system, and furniture and fixtures appropriate for the space.
The Night Sky Observatory
A Large Roll-Off Roof Observatory, complete with a 9″ refractor telescope outfitted with an Astro Physics 1600 Telescope mount and Imaging Camera, three Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescopes (8″, 9.25″ and 11″), computer controls, furniture and fixtures. This teaching facility will provide a dedicated, permanent night sky classroom that offers exceptional STEM education programs and a home for our telescopes.
Designed with 5 bedrooms and two bathrooms with showers, to house 10 guests.
Your gift to Phase 2 of our Gateway to the Galaxy Capital Campaign will make this project come to life and enable us to leverage and secure matching funds.
Special Campaign Giving Opportunities, and associated benefits, include:
$100,000 — 1 Opportunity
Your gift names the Night Sky Learning Center, recognized on prominent building signage. Prior to ground-breaking, you are invited to join us for an exclusive VIP site tour and star party for up to 15 guests, where you will meet and discuss astronomy with TAAA members and local astronomers. Includes a complimentary lifetime membership to TAAA.
$75,000 — 1 Opportunity
Your gift names the Night Sky Observatory. Prior to ground-breaking, you are invited to join us for a special VIP site tour and star party for up to 10 guests, where you will meet and discuss astronomy with TAAA members and local astronomers. Includes a complimentary lifetime membership to TAAA.
$75,000 — Secured
What’s an observatory without telescopes? Your donations of a 9″ refractor telescope fitted with an Astro Physics 1600 Telescope mount and Imaging Camera, three Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescopes (8″, 9.25″ and 11″), Computer controls, and furniture and fixtures will be recognized on signage near each telescope.
$50,000 — 1 Opportunity
Your gift names the Sleeping Quarters, recognized on prominent building signage. Join us for a special VIP site tour and star party for up to 5 guests, where you will stargaze with TAAA members. Includes a complimentary lifetime membership to TAAA.
$50,000 — 1 Opportunity
Your gift will establish a fund to enable TAAA to maintain the site and buildings in perpetuity, recognized on unique signage inside the Night Sky Observatory. Additionally, you will receive a complimentary lifetime membership to TAAA, and a special VIP site tour and stargazing evening for up to 5 guests
$25,000 — 1 Opportunity
Your gift names the Camping Area, prominently recognized on signage displayed in the campground. Additionally, you and 5 guests will receive a VIP tour and stargazing party.
$15,000 — 2 Opportunities
Your gift names the Kitchen or Classroom, acknowledged on signage prominently displayed in your sponsored area.
$5,000 — 12 Opportunities
Your gift names a Bedroom located in either the Night Sky Learning Center or in the Sleeping Quarters, recognized on signage at the entry of your sponsored room.
$1,000 – $2,500 — Infinite Opportunities
Your gift will be recognized in signage commemorating significant contributions to the campaign.
Any gift less than $1,000 will be appreciated. Please designate amount when completing donation form.
If you need more information, wish to discuss a gift of stock, real estate or bequest, or wish to pay by check, please contact:
Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association
Attn: Ed Foley, Campaign Committee Chair
P.O. Box 41254
Tucson, AZ 85717-1254
Or call 520.792.6414