Melissa Russo wrote -Our team is Random Acts of Science, a community outreach effort bringing science education to families and kids in all parts of underserved areas of Oakland, a city with a very high dropout rate and chronic unemployment, despite the green and high tech industries in our area. The partners in this effort are Chabot Space & Science Center, the Eastbay Astronomical Society (“EAS”), and the Oakland Firefighter’s Random Acts (“OFRA”).
Random Acts of Science brings telescopes and astronomy education to the community (with primary beneficiaries underserved schoolchildren, community groups, seniors, and groups in the faith community) – as a “popup” science education manifestation where these families live and their children go to school. The program uses mobile technology and equipment via a traveling telescope, computer hookup, and large portable screen. Our partner organization, Eastbay Astronomical Society (founded in 1924 and a formal partner of Chabot’s Joint Powers Authority governance structure) has committed to providing expertise and volunteer support for Random Acts of Science. The Oakland Firefighter’s Random Acts personnel will bring the excitement of their fire engine; combining role model firefighter personnel and astronomers, we and our partners strongly believe we have the recipe for a very impressionable community outreach program to increase science literacy and interest in STEM careers in Oakland.