Canku Ota Logo
Canku Ota
Canku Ota Logo
(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
pictograph divider
Motorola Foundation Awards Grant To Teach Astronomy To Navajo, Hopi Children
by MaryJane Peters - Special to the Navajo-Hopi Observer
credits: photos courtesy of the Lowell Observatory

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Twenty teachers from the Navajo and Hopi nations will be participating in Lowell Observatory's Educational Astronomy Program (LEAP) thanks to a generous grant of $26,000 obtained from the Motorola Foundation. To date, the program has impacted more than 1,700 students and 50 teachers since its inception in 1996.

LEAP has four main goals: to use astronomy as a vehicle to stimulate interest in science on the part of Navajo and Hopi children; assist teachers of Native American students in learning about astronomy so they can incorporate it in their classrooms; dismiss myths about scientists and encourage children to consider careers in the sciences; and to train new generations of Native American children to become informed consumers of science information.

"The Motorola Foundation is proud to support LEAP in its efforts to encourage scientific learning within the Navajo and Hopi communities," stated Eileen Sweeney, director of the Motorola Foundation. "LEAP introduces astronomy to students at a time when they are most inquisitive about the world, encouraging them to pursue their passion for science."

The focus groups are fifth through eighth grade students, targeting an age when a basic understanding of the Earth and the universe has been acquired and students have an inherent curiosity. LEAP is part of Lowell's education and outreach program that welcomes about 80,000 visitors each year.

"This is an exciting opportunity for us to share ways of incorporating astronomy activities in the classroom and we provide all of the necessary materials," Project Director Deidre Hunter said.

Lowell Observatory will offer its regular tours and evening programs throughout the workshops. For more program information, visit

pictograph divider

About Lowell Observatory
Lowell Observatory is a private, non-profit research institution founded in 1894 by Percival Lowell. The Observatory has been the site of many important findings including the discovery of the large recessional velocities (redshift) of galaxies by Vesto Slipher in 1912-1914 (a result that led ultimately to the realization the universe is expanding), and the discovery of Pluto by Clyde Tombaugh in 1930. Today, Lowell's 19 astronomers use ground-based telescopes around the world, telescopes in space, and NASA planetary spacecraft to conduct research in diverse areas of astronomy and planetary science. The Observatory welcomes about 80,000 visitors each year to its Mars Hill campus for a variety of tours, telescope viewing, and special programs. Lowell Observatory currently has four research telescopes at its Anderson Mesa dark sky site east of Flagstaff, and is building a four-meter class research telescope, the Discovery Channel Telescope.

About the Motorola Foundation
The Motorola Foundation is the charitable and philanthropic arm of Motorola, providing strategic grants, foraging strong community partnerships, fostering innovation and engaging stakeholders. Motorola Foundation focuses it funding on education, especially science, technology, engineering and math programming. For more information on Motorola Corporate and Foundation giving, visit

pictograph divider

pictograph divider
Home PageFront PageArchivesOur AwardsAbout Us
Kid's PageColoring BookCool LinksGuest BookEmail Us
pictograph divider
  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.  
Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 of Vicki Barry and Paul Barry.
Canku Ota Logo   Canku Ota Logo
The "Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America" web site and its design is the
Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 of Paul C. Barry.
All Rights Reserved.

Site Meter
Thank You

Valid HTML 4.01!