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"I liked the stars and moon, and I liked math," Barlev said. "I liked the way you could figure math things out with just a pencil and paper."
what the universe means to them and what they want to know about astronomy, the science of studying the heavens.
are, who we are and who we might become."
Maya Barlev doesn't remember when she decided to study the universe, but she said the idea crept up on her when she was an elementary school student in Silver Spring, Md.
"Astronomy is an inspiring science," she said. "It inspires all of us to think about the scale of the universe, how powerful the heavens Fendi Convertible Clutch
After she graduated, Barlev won a Watson Fellowship, an award that provides money for her to travel around the world, including stops in Africa, Chile, Nepal, New Zealand Fendi Crayons Mini Leather Crossbody
Barlev went on to study astrophysics, the study Fendi Iphone Case Karl of space, in college. This month Global Astronomy Month the 22 year old is far from home talking to future astronomers. She's traveling around the world asking kids ages 6 to 16 Fendi Card Bag
Barlev visits classrooms, community centers and big telescopes. She says she has fun with the kids doing face painting, art projects, working up science puzzle games for older students and showing kids as young as kindergartners how small telescopes work.
But Barlev says that as soon as the kids understand what astronomy is, they light up "because it's an inspiring science that kids and adults can engage with . . . something kids anywhere in the world can become part of," she said.
Inspiring astronomy's future stars
The American Astronomical Association estimates that there are about 20,000 people around the globe who work as astronomers and 500,000 more who study astronomy as a serious hobby.
"Sometimes I introduce myself as an astronomer, and they'll say, like, 'Oh, an astronaut?' or, 'I'm a Leo,' thinking I am an astrologer," she said. (Astrologers aim to predict the future based on movements of the stars.)
Barlev's astronomy project partly was inspired by two experiences she had in school. And while attending Haverford College near Philadelphia, Barlev organized star watching parties for families at the school's two big telescopes.
It's important that schools help kids dream big, Barlev said. The good news is that nations everywhere are taking astronomy seriously, she said, noting South Africa's effort to boost astronomy in education.
"No matter where I've been all over the world, there are kids interested in going to the moon and outer space," she said in a telephone interview from Cape Town, South Africa. "Even if they're not learning about astronomy in school, kids are fascinated by the universe."
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