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Waynesboro sixth-graders enjoy a night of stargazing with UVA’s Department of Astronomy

Rebecca Barnabi
Image courtesy NASA

UVA‘s Department of Astronomy was at Kate Collins Middle School in Waynesboro last week to enhance students’ learning experience with an extraordinary night of stargazing.

Sixth-graders embarked on an awe-inspiring journey through the cosmos with high-powered telescopes, which provided students with the rare opportunity to observe planets and other celestial objects up close.

“This experience is designed to bring our sixth-grade standards ‘to life’ for our students. We believe that by immersing them in the wonders of the cosmos through hands-on exploration, we can spark a lasting curiosity and passion for learning,” KCMS Science teacher Ryan Nunley said.

The evening included a presentation by Christoph Jacques, a distinguished speaker from the National Astronomy Radio Observatory. Jacques shared insights into using radio imagery to study celestial objects and brought firsthand experiences from his recent endeavors in Chile, where he played a crucial role in the construction of a massive radio satellite.

Before venturing outside to explore the night sky, students were treated to a hot dog dinner paired with comforting hot chocolate, which  created a warm and delightful atmosphere for a cosmic adventure.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.