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Local astronomy club reaches for the stars

Group hosts annual event to encourage a healthy interest in science for those young and old

Posted: October 21, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: October 21, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Rebecca Kinstle, 7, of Santa Clarita, and her father Mike, construct a cardboard telescope as part of Astronomy Day hosted by The Local Group Astronomy Club at the Valencia Library on Saturday.

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Even cloudy skies overhead could not dim the enthusiasm of the volunteers at Saturday’s Astronomy Day 2012.

The Local Group Astronomy Club puts on the annual event to promote a healthy interest in science, even at a young age, according to Dave Flynn, vice president of the club. This year’s event was held at the Valencia Library.

Flynn estimated about 50 people had attended the event after two hours, a drop in attendance from last year that he attributed to the weather preventing some activities normally held during the day.

Astronomy Day followed a Friday evening star-viewing party at the College of the Canyons Canyon Country campus. Flynn said both events combine to provide outreach to all age segments of the community.

“No matter what we do, our payoff is when we have a person look through a telescope for the first time and all they can say is, ‘Wow,’” Flynn said.

Michelle and Larry Harris brought their two children to the event and participated in a workshop that allowed them to build their own telescopes. Michelle Harris said her daughter 6-year-old Helena is already interested in looking at the stars and planets, so this event presented a unique opportunity for her.

“This is awesome,” Michelle Harris said. “(Helena) is getting an experience now that she wouldn’t normally get until she was older.”

“Things like this are just a great opportunity to do something together as a family,” Michelle Harris said.




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