Educational Programs In Schools And Public Outreach

Eclipse Glasses for Africa Look Up

Africa Look up is a pan-African campaign of the African Astronomical Society that encourages the use of astronomy to introduce STEM, inspire Africa's youth, and inspire students to consider STEM careers.
Teacher training session in Tanzania

Mission

Astronomy For Equity (A4E) is partnering with Africa Look Up, an Africa-wide program of the African Astronomical Society, gathering new, unused eclipse glasses to be shipped and distributed across Africa for ongoing education and outreach programs.

These school and outreach solar astronomy programs will be ongoing and will use these eclipse glasses to serve Africa students for years to come. They are not dependent on having an eclipse where the glasses are used once and discarded or set aside.

Africa Look Up

Africa Look Up was created to take advantage of the first General Assembly to take place in Africa in the 102-year history of the International Astronomical Union in Cape Town, South Africa, in August 2024. As part of the program, the African Astronomical Society will handle the shipments and distribution of glasses to schools and outreach organizations in countries across the continent.

A class traveled to another school to receive eclipse glasses. Said one, "Now we are scientists."

Vendors: Donate Remaining Stock

Vendors of certified eclipse glasses with remaining stock can donate them to Astronomy For Equity to be redirected to the Africa Look Up program. We can only accept new, unused eclipse glasses in their original bundles or packaging from known, certified suppliers, as the safety of used glasses is very difficult to confirm without experience and training. If you have glasses to donate please complete the form on this page.

Potential Tax Benefits

Astronomy For Equity is an initiative of Blue Marble Space, a 501(c)3 non-profit and your donation to this program may be eligible to be claimed as a deduction on your tax returns. Consult with a tax accountant for more information.

How You Can Help

If you have at least 500 new, unused eclipse glasses to donate, please complete the form below.

If you would like to support this program to benefit thousands of students across Africa for years to come, please make a donation.

Donate Glasses

Thank you for considering donating your new, unused eclipse glasses to Look Up Africa through Astronomy For Equity

Look Up Africa eclipse glasses donation program

Contact Information

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FAQ

From Rick Fienberg, Manager of the American Astronomical Society’s Eclipse Task Force:

It’s fairly easy to tell if eclipse glasses are not safe, but there is no way to tell if eclipse glasses are safe by simply examining them. You need to know who sold them to you (or to the person who gave them to you, if applicable), you need to know where they were manufactured, and you need to confirm with the manufacturer that they are supplying that seller. You also need to see a satisfactory test report of a sample of that manufacturer’s product from a lab that is properly accredited to test solar viewers for compliance with the ISO 12312-2 standard. There are only a handful of such labs across the globe, and some of the Chinese labs that some Chinese manufacturers have used to test their products are not among them. Identifying which labs are properly accredited requires careful research and can take a significant amount of time and effort. There are signs that a test report is bogus, but they are not obvious to a casual observer, only to an expert who is intimately familiar with the standard as well as with the tests that a properly accredited lab needs to conduct in order to confirm compliance with the standard.

https://eclipse.aas.org/eye-safety/iso12312-2
https://eclipse.aas.org/eye-safety/for-suppliers
https://eclipse.aas.org/eye-safety/how-to-tell-if-viewers-are-safe

https://eclipse.aas.org/eye-safety/iso12312-2https://eclipse.aas.org/eye-safety/for-suppliershttps://eclipse.aas.org/eye-safety/how-to-tell-if-viewers-are-safe

Donate to this program to help cover the cost of shipping these resources to Africa.

Astronomy for Equity is partnering with the African Astronomical Society and the South African Astronomical Observatory, both headquartered in Cape Town, to receive and distribute the glasses and other resources.

There is considerable work in receiving small packages, bundling similar glasses together, packaging glasses, and shipping them. We are set up only to receive and reship larger deliveries in cases or on pallets.

Not until 2027 and then only in the north. But these eclipse glasses will not be used once for an eclipse and discarded. They are part of an integrated program using the Sun for introducing STEM to schools and the public.

Lesson plans for classrooms and public outreach organizations will be included to guide educators in a continuing program using sunlight to learn science. No eclipse necessary.

Plans include additional resources to go deeper into the nature of light including diffraction gratings to create spectra and a do-it-yourself spectroscope as part of a two-year plan. This will require raising additional funding.

Use our contact form to send your questions or to let us know how you’d like to help.