Saturday, April 24, 2010
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Gwinnett Daily Post
NORCROSS -- Students at Summerour Middle School took a journey through space Friday evening.
With the help of some amateur astronomers, the school's fifth annual Astronomy Night allowed students and community members to gaze at the moon and planets using telescopes.
"I want to finally see the planets up close," sixth-grader Unique Wyatt said. "I've seen the moon. It was awesome."
Margie Veazey, a sixth-grade earth science teacher, said she started the event as a way to make learning enjoyable for the students.
"I want the kids to see that they can learn outside of the classroom and have fun learning," she said.
Bill Austin, a substitute teacher, said he thinks allowing the students to look at planets through a telescope can have a big impact on them.
"You can look at a picture of Saturn in a textbook, but the first time you see it with your own eyes through a telescope, it takes your breath away," he said.
Members of the Atlanta Astronomy Club helped out at the event because it's part of the club's outreach mission to visit schools.
An event like Astronomy Night could spark a student's interest in the space program, physics or astronomy, said Theo Ramakers, the director of the Atlanta Astronomy Club's Charlie Elliott Chapter.
"I have a very strong conviction ... (that we need to) stay on the forefront of space technology," Ramakers said.