STREAM project helps students reach for the stars - and moon

by JOE KIRCHMYER
Mon, Jun 13th 2016 09:00 am
Advancement Director, Mary Queen of Angels School
Evan Quinn looks through a telescope at the moon as part of a STREAM project. Also taking part in the project is Brandon Threet. (Courtesy of Mary Queen of Angels School)
Evan Quinn looks through a telescope at the moon as part of a STREAM project. Also taking part in the project is Brandon Threet. (Courtesy of Mary Queen of Angels School)

Mary Queen of Angels Regional Catholic School in Cheektowaga is extremely proud of its status as a STREAM Academy. The school is very proud of its students and teachers who take on every new STREAM project with great excitement, and very proud to share the first STREAM column in the Western New York Catholic.

At Mary Queen of Angels, we're always looking for new ways to encourage our students to "reach for the stars." In April, we really put those words into action when our STREAM coordinator and fourth-grade teacher Stephany Nalley invited the Buffalo Astronomical Association to visit the school for a hands-on Astronomy Night as part of its STREAM science curriculum.

The BAA is a local organization composed of people from all walks of life who share a passion for the night sky and the science of astronomy. While the group's individual interests are diverse, the membership has a common goal to foster science education and an appreciation of astronomy.

During their visit the evening of April 20, fourth- and sixth-grade students had a rare opportunity to view the moon and the planet Jupiter up close through two powerful reflective telescopes. Additionally, the students had an opportunity to review maps of the solar system and participate in a question and answer session with the BAA experts.
Pointing their telescopes at the moon, the BAA guests showed students locations where Apollo moon missions have landed and challenged students to identify specific craters. The tasks were challenging, yet incredibly fun and informative.

On the side of one of the telescopes was a message that read: God made two great lights - the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars (Genesis 1:16).

This is one lesson that will be remembered every time our "shooting stars" gaze into the nighttime sky.  

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