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Rachel Freed

I am Rachel Freed and I have been an amateur astronomer since 2000. I love doing astronomy outreach, sharing the night sky, and especially live video spectroscopy, with the public! I was a high school chemistry and astronomy teacher for 10 years and strongly believed in the need for student-centered programs for my students where they could get involved in true research opportunities using the instruments of the professionals. They needed to be able to take ownership of their learning and to have choices within their education. I was constantly looking for telescope access and projects for my astronomy students, and was surprised at how difficult it was to find these. For the past 3 years I have been an independent consultant for science education and educational technology with a passion for bringing together education communities with astronomy communities, including the telescope owners, telescope networks, and amateur and professional astronomers who can serve as mentors for students. I firmly believe that all students around the globe should have access to telescopes as this is the one science that can capture the imagination and potentially guide students towards STEM paths in education and careers, and at the very least, give them opportunities to learn about the true nature of science, research and scientific communication.