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  • Writer's pictureTerra

Ann Marie Galigger

Ann Marie Galigger

Part 1

At a young age Ann Marie knew exactly what she wanted to be when she grew up. It all started at her 5th birthday, when her dad surprised her with a brand new top of the line telescope. It was a Celestron and it was the most beautiful thing Ann Marie had ever seen. It was bigger than her and hard to maneuver at first. Ann Marie was only three and a half feet tall, 42 pounds with bouncy black curls. She quickly became obsessed with seeing all she could see in only a way a child could become completely enamored with. Ann Marie would spend hours every night staring into the night sky. Everything in her life became about space.

First she learned all the consolation and could find them faster than anyone in her school. For her sixth birthday Ann Marie’s parents painted her ceiling with glow in the dark paint, they made sure to include all of her favorite constellations. Then she learned the planets and their moons. She started winning contests at 8 years old. She spent night after night studying the sky for any signs of something or someone else out there. She spent years learning and mastering the sky. Ann Marie knew there were other life forms out there she just had to find them.

She dreamed of being the first person to discover a new species or being. She knew deep in her soul that there was life out there she could feel it. When she was young, kids thought all she knew about space was cool. She was known as Ann Marie Space girl. Anytime anyone had a question about space or needed a debate settled they asked Ann Marie. Ann Marie will never forget the day they said Pluto wasn't a planet. She was furious, she loved Pluto.

By middle school Ann Marie space girl took a more taunting tone. She knew her life was meant to be spent in space far away from those cruel girls in the locker room. Ann Marie never let their taunts deter her because she was a space girl and she was going to be an astronaut one day. She still knew more than even the teachers knew about space. She had an on going subscription to Smithsonian Air & Space, AdAstra, UniGalactic Space Travel and Astronomy magazines. She even knew exactly what day each one got showed up in her mailbox. She went as far as joining the national space society.

Ann Marie started star charting and keeping accurate records every night. For her fifth grade science fair project Ann Marie launched a website with all her data. With the help of her father a computer engineer and her mother was a website designer and a scientist together they created something magnificent. After all her father always dreamed he could find a job that paid him to use his minor degree in Astronomy. One was able to put in their coordinates and the date and time and her program would predict where the stars and constellations were. Her project was so accurate that NASA reached out to her personally and offered her scholarship to space camp. There had never been such accuracy in star charting.

Throughout school Ann Marie took any math, science or space related class she could. She wanted to learn everything she could. She even found online courses to take. She studied engineering, architecture and worked with Habitat for Humanity building houses so she could one day build her own house on a new planet. Night after night year after year Ann Marie stared at the night sky and charted the stars. She would upgrade her telescopes to best she could find and if there was a new better on she had to have it.

Everyone knew how important her telescopes were that she rarely received other presents and most of her family chipped in to make sure she could get the newest telescope. Ann Marie made sure every time she upgraded her telescope that her last one went to another girl who needed it. She donated hundreds of telescopes to other young girls over the years hoping to foster their love for science and space too. She would seek out telescope manufacturers to get them to donate telescopes to schools and kids that couldn't otherwise afford them.

After spending years hearing those taunts she wanted to make sure no other girl ever heard them because she wanted everyone to have a love for space and to be a space girl, boy or person. She knew that if only they had a chance to fall in love with space the way she did that they would understand and bond over space instead of taunting because they felt inferior. She knew she could change the way kids viewed space and science if they just had a chance to see it for themselves and fall in love with the galaxy the way she did. She wanted to bring the stars to every kid in the world. She wanted every back porch, window and yard to have a telescope waiting to show children around earth beyond our world to all the possibilities of other worlds.

Check back to see what happens next to Ann Marie....



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