Quick Start Guide for Volunteers and Schools


The Federation of Galaxy Explorers (FoGE) is a non profit 501(c)3 educational organization incorporated in the State of Maryland. FoGE is organized exclusively for educational purposes within the meaning of section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

The purpose of the Galaxy Explorers is to educate and inspire America's youth in space-related sciences and engineering. The vision of the Galaxy Explorers organization is to expand the frontiers of science and technology to explore and develop space. The mission is to educate, guide, and prepare the next generation to accept the challenges of expanding humankind's presence in space and being good citizens on Earth.

This document identifies the actions required to quick start a Federation of Galaxy Explorers Pilot Program in your school. There are many other activities required, but these steps are the minimum essential actions and are fundamental to successfully developing the program. Galaxy Explorers volunteers will help you and the school through all aspects of initiating the program.

Additional documents highlight responsibilities, roles, and missions for all members of FoGE and school sponsors. These materials and all other materials required to initiate the Galaxy Explorers program are available in hard copy [call 1 (877) 761-1266] and throughout this Web site.

Activities to Organize (Launch Sequence)

1. Obtain school (district, board, etc.) approval for program. The following events should occur once the school principal has been briefed on the Federation of Galaxy Explorers program and wishes to proceed.

2. Recruit program participants and volunteers.

Distribute recruitment notices (see Enclosure 1) explaining the program. For example, applications can be distributed at Parent Teacher Association meetings or back-to-school nights. The school staff may have other suggestions, too.

Allow enough time for application distribution and response.

Allow enough time for parent volunteers to prepare for the Orientation Meeting.

Contact parent volunteers and prepare for the Orientation Meeting (see next item). A Federation volunteer will lead the meeting.

3. Orientation Meeting

An Orientation Meeting will be scheduled if it is determined that there is sufficient interest (both student and parent) in starting Galaxy Explorers Mission Teams in your school. *NOTE: This determination is made by the school and FoGE based on the number of responses to the notification.

The Orientation Meeting explains the Federation of Galaxy Explorers organization, structure, and administrative processes.

This meeting is designed for parent volunteers and participating school officials (teachers, school representatives, science coordinators, etc.).

This meeting should take approximately 60 minutes. *NOTE: Due to the length of this meeting, we recommend that you DO NOT bring younger children.

The Federation of Galaxy Explorers will provide take home materials that explain the organization, its purpose, and the jobs and responsibilities required. These materials are available from this Web site or by calling 1 (877) 761-1266.

Volunteers should fill out and leave forms identifying their preferred volunteer job, school, and individual background (see Enclosure 2).

Enough time should be provided for parents to review this material before a follow-on Organizational Meeting (generally one week).

A date is established for an Organizational Meeting.

4. Organizational Meeting

This meeting has three objectives:

  • To explain the organization, policies, and processes in depth.
  • To organize the volunteer force into their respective volunteer groups and roles (e.g., Planning Team, Mission Team Leaders, etc.).
  • To schedule organizational and Mission Team activities.

This meeting is designed for parent volunteers and participating school officials (teachers, school representatives, science coordinators, etc.). *This meeting is also NOT recommended for children. The first part of the meeting takes 45 minutes to one hour. For the second part of the meeting, volunteers form working groups in their respective areas of interest (this will generally take about 45 minutes to one hour). There will be four working groups in the areas of: Planning, Media, Finance, local Business Development, and Mission Team Leaders.

Each group reviews its roles and responsibilities, establishes yearly objectives, intermediate milestones, and a basic schedule (Mission Team meeting dates, possible field trip dates, identify conflicting dates/school events). *NOTE: In the case of Mission Team Leaders, this will include Mission Team assignment, location, day, and time. Mission Team members are determined by grade. Plans for follow on planning meetings, phone calls, e-mail.

5. Initiate Program

The first Missions conducted by Mission Teams should be initiated as the program
is refining its yearly plans.

6. Volunteer Training

The Federation of Galaxy Explorers is committed to providing quality training to its volunteers in a variety of subject areas. We realize that not everyone considers themselves an expert on all these topics, so we have designed the training to give you the information you need to be confident you can implement this program.

Mission Team ScienceA review and explanation of Galaxy Explorer Mission Plans. This training is sure to bring back just a little bit of your high school science. It explains content and demonstrates the activities. It is provided on site and will soon be available online and in video format.

Earth Science (scientific methods and related activities)We have been fortunate to establish a good working relationship with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Globe Program. They have trained Galaxy Explorers volunteers, and in turn, we support Globe activities with scientific data developed by Galaxy Explorers Mission Teams. This training will be available nationwide.

Working With ChildrenWe will provide a short review of Federation of Galaxy Explorers Do's and Don'ts and safety requirements (available from the Volunteer Center).

Federation of Galaxy Explorers Orientation. An orientation to the organization, its mission, and vision is available on site and online in annotated briefing (available from the Volunteer Center).

Federation of Galaxy Explorers OrganizationThis material is designed to provide an in-depth knowledge of how the Pilot Program Organization works and communicates. Available on-site and online in an annotated briefing (available from the Volunteer Center).


Last updated 6/4/2003

Copyright © 2001-2003 Federation of Galaxy Explorers"

So long!