Gary Fildes, successful writer and passionate astronomer is working on a project that will help children, teenagers and adults literally, reach for the stars.
As a child, Gary wasn’t encouraged by his teachers to explore his love for science, just like many children he was destined for shipyards, building sites or the military. Gary left school at age 16 and began an apprenticeship as a bricklayer, although space was a constant passion, Gary stayed in the building industry for 25 years.
In the late 1990’s Gary joined the Sunderland Astronomical Society where his interest grew massively, he would regularly travel down to Star Camps in East Anglia to spend the night looking up at the areas dark skies. Although beautiful, Gary keenly thought that the skies up in Northumberland also had a lot to offer, so in 2002 he started hosting Star Camps in Kielder, Northumberland.
In 2004 Gary was appointed astronomical adviser for the Kielder Observatory Project, based in the beautiful Kielder Forest, an area that is know well known for amazing dark skies. The observatory opened its doors for the first time in 2008, Gary started as a volunteer but was then appointed as director and lead astronomer where he oversaw the whole organisation and managed it to the success it is today, eventually being elected as CEO.
Last year, Gary resigned from the observatory to pursue his own ambitions – ambitions to reach and inspire even more people than before and this is where, Reach For The Stars comes in…
The UK’s education system has improved in many ways since Gary was a child however, astronomy still isn’t a priority in our curriculum and this is something that must change. A common challenge of space and astronomy education is that to really see into space, we require a dark sky zone, which are areas where you can look at the night sky without the light pollution created by street lights, neon signs and industrial lighting. Dark sky zones can be difficult to reach, especially for young children and this is one of the barriers between learning about the wonders of space and astrology, and not.
A perfect solution is Reach for The Stars, a mobile astrology seminar, which will travel around the UK (starting off in the North East of England) to educate children, teenagers and adults on all things space and beyond, the tour will be managed by Gary Fildes himself. Workshops will take place in an inflatable ‘dark dome’ which will replicate a dark sky zone, this will allow the audience to almost reach up and touch the stars and planets using augmented reality technology using the Aryzon cardboard headset AR system.
The Reach For The Stars project is looking to fund the initial setup of the educational roadshow using the fundr ‘super investor’ network. This round of funding will initially help with the roadshow planning, double decker bus conversion, inflatable dark dome and equipment, vital AR technology with augmented reality software app purchase and post twelve months business overheads.
All project costs are segregated into various critical project demands, including:
- Roadshow Planning
- Double Decker Bus Purchase
- Bus Conversion Works
- Equipment Purchases
- Aryzon AR Equipment Purchase
- Aryzon App/Software Purchase
- Dark Dome Purchase
- PR Services
- Social Media Marketing
- Legal + Insurance
THE BOTTOM LINE
Stephen Hawking once said, “Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.” The aim of Reach For the Stars, is to inspire people to learn about space and astrology and to follow in the footsteps of Gary, to keep researching and learning about our amazing universe.