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About Us

Dark Skies, Bright Kids is a primarily volunteer-run program seeking to enhance science education in Virginia elementary schools, primarily in underserved areas. Operating out of the UVa Astronomy Department, The program seeks to foster the natural curiosity of children in the surrounding community by helping them to explore the Universe in a social setting with fun, hands-on activities.

Take a look at how are program is changing students' view of science.

The backbone of the DSBK program is the two-month Astronomy Club that is held at a different elementary school each semester. This long-term commitment enables the volunteers to build meaningful relationships with the students and take learning to a deeper level than is possible with “one-off” events. The semester-long program is designed to lay the foundation for a life-long interest in science.


In addition, DSBK carries out a variety of activities, including special astronomy days featuring their portable planetarium, family observing nights, and regional star parties, and participation at community-based events.

Dark Skies Bright Kids is run by volunteers from the University of Virginia. The program is led by professor Kelsey Johnson and has volunteer support from graduate and undergraduate students. These volunteers are the backbone of the program. No astronomy background is required to volunteer with us!

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