Science & Astronomy
12. June 2013

Back in April I wrote about the dire situation the budget sequestration in the USA has created for the amazing citizen science project CosmoQuest. They not only bring much needed science education to American schools, but also run online courses, science projects everyone can participate in and, of course, a whole lot of podcasts and hangouts. Now much of what they do could be in danger of extinction soon because they are funded by a government grant which is going to be cut soon – but they’re not giving up yet!

For this reason, CosmoQuester Pamela Gay and Nicole Gugliucci have decided to hold a fundraiser and do it in their own style: as a 32-Hour Marathon Hangout on Google+! They’re going to have a lot of fantastic guests ranging from scientists to artists to astronomers – there’s also going to be a Virtual Star Party, a live recording of Astronomy Cast and much, much more. Pamela and Nicole both have Google Glass now, so there should be a lot of amazing stuff happening. This is going to be a fantastic event bringing together many fascinating people. [Update 15.06.: See also the video introduction from Pamela Gay, who explains it all much better in only under two minutes!]

The hangout will start on Saturday, June 15th at 12pm EST or 6pm/18:00 CEST and will be split in six parts, which are all linked to on the main event page – there’s also a schedule available which is still in the process of filling up. Everything will, of course, be archived on Youtube as usual, so even if you don’t have time to view it all live (which would admittedly be rather difficult), you can always view the recordings later. All you need to watch is a computer, tablet or smartphone on which you can view Youtube videos and streams on – and a Google+ account if you want to leave comments, because there will be a lot of interaction! If you want to watch on an Android device, see my article from last year on how to watch Google+ Hangouts under Android.

While the Hangout-A-Thon is not a pay-per-view event and watching is free, the whole reason for this amazing event is to raise money for CosmoQuest. So if you like what they are doing and care about science and astronomy education not only in the USA but worldwide, please consider making a donation – I’m sure that even small amounts are going to help and even I am going to send them a little something of $20 or so. I think it’s only fair after having watched so many of their brilliant hangouts!

[Update 17.6: The fundraiser was nothing short of epic and they raised over $20.000, an amazing achievement! Everything has been recorded and is available on Youtube, and donating is, of course, still possible. But… what a ride! :-)]

Note: CosmoQuest logo borrowed without permission, but I’m sure they don’t mind. I’m not affiliated with CosmoQuest, at most I’m an unsolicited volunteer – I just believe in what they do and want to help spread their cause.

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