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10 New Ways Women and Girls will Lead in Astronomy

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10 New Ways Women and Girls will Lead in Astronomy

Silhouette of four people holding hands in the air with a sky full of stars in the background.

NA-ROAD Selects Mini-grant Recipients

Washington, D.C.—Today, the North American Regional Office of Astronomy for Development (NA-ROAD) announced the selection of 10 astronomy for development projects to receive funding as part of the Women and Girls in Astronomy Program (WGAP). WGAP aims to inspire and support women, girls and underrepresented genders in the field of astronomy.  

These 10 WGAP projects were selected from a pool of many ambitious proposals. Each winning proposal was awarded a $1,000 mini-grant. Project leaders will join the WGAP network composed of industry and academic professionals. The project year will conclude with a presentation highlighting each funded project, in which WGAP Fellows will have the opportunity to present their outcomes and discuss their contributions to advancing women and girls in astronomy.

“These new projects, that use astronomy as a tool for development, will make a significant impact in communities with limited or no access to astronomy funds by creating a diverse network of professionals,” said Yasmin Catricheo, AUI’s senior STEM education specialist.

The selected projects focus on communities throughout North America including the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Trinidad, Puerto Rico, Nashville, New York City, Florida, Texas and in the virtual space for remote engagement with rural tribal communities. While all WGAP projects support women and girls in the field of astronomy, individual projects have diverse objectives including reducing light pollution, expanding astronomical vocabulary in Mexican Sign Language, enhancing research skills and access to equipment, and utilizing the lens of music for data analysis. 

“We have the honor of supporting ten wonderful projects across different cultures, countries and cities,” said Karla Garcia, WGAP coordinator. “At our first cohort meeting, project leaders experienced the impact of this program, which enables scientists and community leaders to connect through shared experiences as women in astronomy and uplift each other and their communities.”

“Receiving this grant is an absolute honor as it allows me to empower young girls of color to pursue science,” said Shaniya Jarrett, who received a grant for AstroBeats: Sounds of the Cosmos. “The cosmic compositions they create will inspire the future song for inclusive Astronomy.” 

Funding for the WGAP is made possible through a generous donation by the Heising-Simons Foundation. These efforts are managed through NA-ROAD, which is co-managed by Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI), Adler Planetarium, and the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA).

For more information about the NA-ROAD Women and Girls in Astronomy Program, please visit the program website.

About AUI

Associated Universities, Inc. is an independent, non-profit corporation founded in 1946 that specializes in design, building and managing cutting-edge research facilities and the development and implementation of innovative approaches to education, outreach and workforce development. Currently, AUI manages two U.S.-funded research and development centers: The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and the Green Bank Observatory (GBO). NRAO is the North American partner in the management of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile. In addition, NRAO includes the Very Large Array (VLA), and the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA), and GBO is home to the 100-meter Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope.

About the Office of Astronomy for Development

The Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) is a joint project of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and the South African National Research Foundation (NRF) with the support of the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI). The mission of the OAD is to help further the use of astronomy, including its practitioners, skills and infrastructures, as a tool for development by mobilizing the human and financial resources necessary in order to realize the field’s scientific, technological and cultural benefits to society. The OAD has established 11 Regional Offices and Language Centres around the world who share the OAD vision but focus their activities within a geographic or cultural or language region.

Media Contact
Matt Schaub
[email protected]

Published July 21, 2023

Recent News

NSF Funds New Opportunity for Undergraduate Students

AUI and UNC-Chapel Hill are currently seeking undergraduate students to contribute to cutting-edge research in astronomy education. This paid opportunity, open to education and STEM majors, explores the impacts of new curriculum centered on the use of robotic telescopes.

Stellar Explosions and Cosmic Chemistry

Astronomers have discovered the secrets of a starburst galaxy producing new stars at a rate much faster than our Milk Way. This research revealed many different molecules, more than ever seen before in a galaxy like this.