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Washington, D.C. 20001
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Ignite DC #8

Elizabeth Wallace

Discover your inner Galileo

I counted 7 stars in the sky over DC last night. Where did the other 2000 go? Last time I saw them all I was dizzy with their lumionousity on a mountaintop in WV.

IN DC they are covered up by light pollution.

Who in the young student population really cares what is happening at NASA when they can't even see an astronaut's road map above? Fewer than 3 dozen of the 7000 astronomers in the US are African American or Hispanic.

But there is a way, to recreate the night sky even in DC. Through your imagination.

"I didn't know a story could be about space and feel like it WAS space." a young DC student said after creating and recording his own sky story. Not an ancient one. But his. Based on his own understanding of astronomy, as our ancestors based skylore on theirs.

The first StarryTelling show debuted at the Einstein Planetarium at the National Air and Space Museum when dozens of students heard their own stories coming from the stars rotating on the dome overhead.

Listen to one of many audio stories created by local middle school students -- raps, poems, prose, sci fi, yes even love and betrayal-- sound designed with sound effects and music. And let them remind you of your sky story...you know the one, remember? when you were outside that night and you saw.....

About Elizabeth Wallace:

While the rest of the universe, it seems, was inspired by Star Trek and Star Wars, Elizabeth Wallace discovered her inner Galileo when she was sent a children's picture book from Korea by a bookstore clerk who insisted: You have to read this book! It was about two love stars, Chingyu and Kyonu. Who the heck are they? she asked looking up into an almost starless night sky in Takoma Park. An astronomy 101 professor pointed them out to her: Vega and Altair. She felt connected to the people who looked at the same stars from almost the same latitude on the other side of the world. After having secured passports and visas for people to travel worldwide for over 30 years, she now found, this is the way we are all connected. Through the night sky. And our desire to fly there. Wallace produces arts integrated STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs from festivals, to field days to planetarium shows, She also introduces middle school students to new commercial space tourism and the new career opportunities that are opening up.

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