By James Bastone
On Thursday, May 24th, The Astronomy Club held their first ever AstroEvent, a night filled with presentations, discussions, and gazing up at the stars. The event was held right here at Byram Hills and is hailed as a success by Club President Josh Freedman, who noted, “Overall, we accomplished our goal of sparking interest in astronomy and allowing many people to experience the night sky through telescopes.” The event received a large audience ranging from adults, children, and high school students. Freshman John Pantusa thought the event “was very entertaining and educational. It gave a new interest in Astronomy, and I am excited to learn more about the subject.” The event consisted of multiple stations ranging from interactive activities to lectures.
The first event of the evening was a planet walk. At this station, freshmen Oliver and Melissa Rivera “took the audience on tour through the solar system to portray where the planets are relative to each other. Down the hallway, there were representations of each planet, and each person had an opportunity to write about the different planets to share their knowledge. There was also a model of Mars designed and 3-D printed by Oren Molloy. In the planet walk, we were looking to bring about learning of each planet while also making it interactive.” After, the group went to the telescope station run by Freedman. At this station, the group was taught about the basics of telescopes – the different types and how to use them. From here, the group made its way to another event run by fellow Club President Moses Zhang and freshmen Anthony Webster who “began with an introduction to cosmological discovery, starting with the simplest proof that the Earth was round that gravity existed, and so on. I also ventured into the different fields of astronomy that existed, which included cosmology, but also incorporates planetary sciences and astrogeology as well. AJ reviewed the types of black holes and where to find them. One thing is certain- we all learned a whole lot more about what was in the sky that night.” After this more ambiguous topic, the group visited a station that talked about something a little closer to home; run by junior Stefan Dinkle, this station “focus[ed] on space exploration and travel. We talked about several companies, including SpaceX, who are paving the way for astral travel and our future in the stars. We presented a few video clips that fascinated ourselves and the group that was present.” The group was then able to visit the observatory upstairs with Mr. Fuller, which offered attendees the chance to view the sky as well. This was finally followed by an astronomy Kahoot created by Oren. After the official event was over, “attendees were encouraged to hang around for a stargazing session in the parking lot highlighted by a view of the International Space Station as it streaked across the night sky.”
Stefan stated that the “event was created out of a want of the Astronomy Club to get more exposure to the club, enrich people with more knowledge of our universe, and share our fascination with the cosmos to the North Castle community.” He continued to say that the Astronomy Club wants to “reach out to even more people and hold more events like the one held this year.” This is just the first step in the Astronomy Club’s goal to become more of a fixture within the local community. Overall, the first-ever AstroEvent was extremely successful and was just the beginning of an exciting run for BHHS’ Astronomy Club.
If by reading this article you are interested in joining the Astronomy Club, Presidents Josh and Moses would love to know. They are looking for anyone who is interested in Astronomy and would love for people to reach out to them for “a fun and casual commitment” that certainly “won’t hurt the college resume!”