Between 1965 and 1967 my first wife and I were Peace Corps Volunteers in the south american country of Chile. We were assigned to teach at Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria, a science and engineering school in the main seaport of Valparaiso. I taught electronics to undergraduate engineers, and she taught English to the entire freshman class. As we left there at the end of our term, our hearts were strongly connected to the country and to the Chilean people. We both wanted to return there some day. Over 40 years later I was finally given that opportunity.
In January of 2010 I accompanied Dr. Carl Pennypacker (Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and Hands-On Universe) to give a 2 day training workshop to Chilean teachers. This was a part of the Galileo Teacher Training Program (GTTP) which was a program initiated during the International Year of Astronomy (2009). We gathered approximately 30 high-school and middle-school teachers in a computer lab at Universidad de Chile in Santiago, the capital city of Chile. Since I was still relatively fluent in Spanish I translated all of my previous activity and powerpoint files into Spanish and led the workshop in Spanish.
The workshop was very successful and resulted in a request that a second workshop be held a year later in the Santiago area. In January 2011 we held a 5 day workshop at Universidad Catolica, once again working with a group of about 30 teachers. The success of these two workshops led to two additional, large workshops. One was held in the northern city of Calama (2012), and served about 50 teachers. The second was held in the northern port city of Antofagasta (2013), with about 30 teachers attending. In all of the workshops I was privileged to be able do the primary teaching, but at Catolica (Santiago) and in Calama we were able to count on significant Chilean support in terms of teaching assistants and major presenters. As was our hope at the beginning, these Chilean colleagues are now planning and leading their own workshops without our assistance.
On the following pages I have displayed a selection of photos from each of the 4 major workshops.