The number of schools participating in the program was down from last year. This was most likely due to our going from a snail mail package containing all the printed materials, to an email telling teachers to visit our website and download the materials. The snail mail package was very expensive mostly due to the color printing. In 2014 I intend to go back to snail mail, but only a one page letter telling teachers to visit the website to download the materials. This will reduce the mailing costs and should produce better results than email alone.
We awarded six pairs of 10 x 50 binoculars as second tier awards. These awards went to: two fourth grade boys at the Bancroft Elementary School in Andover; a fourth grade boy in the Manchester Memorial Elementary School; one fourth grade girl and one fifth grade girl in the Rockport Middle School.
We awarded five Orion 6” DOBs to the following new Young Astronomers. Please welcome these new Family Members into the NSAAC!
Jon Dailey, an eight grader in the Rockport Middle School had entered the contest last year and just missed out on a telescope award. He re-entered this year as his enthusiasm had sustained and he was rewarded with a telescope. John had used his binoculars from last year at Halibut State Park and is looking forward to trying the telescope there. Congratulations to Jon and his parents Beth and Jim!
Eli, a fifth grader in the Herbert Clark Hoover Elementary School in Melrose is looking forward to using his new telescope with his Dad Michael. Eli has been very enthusiastic about astronomy his whole life. Please welcome him along with his parents Jessica and Michael.
Sophia, a seventh grader at the Rockport Middle School is really into the solar system and plans to use her new telescope at a golf course near where she lives. She regularly visits the NASA website and reads about the solar system. Her parents Gemma and Neil are also enthusiastic and plan to use the telescope along with Sophia.
Mackenzie Robertson is a sixth grader in the Holton Richmond Middle School in Danvers. Mackenzie wrote in her essay that learning how the Moon phases came about kindled her interest in astronomy. She plans to use her telescope every clear night in her aunt’s open field and wants to record what she sees in her journal. Please welcome Mackenzie and her parent’s Christopher and Elizabeth!
Our final recipient is sixth grader Nicole Crateau. Nicole is also very interested in the solar system, particularly Jupiter and its many moons. She finds it mind boggling that a storm on Jupiter could be as large as they are. Nicole’s parents Stephen and Karen are among our new Family Members; please welcome them all into our club!
To all our participants, thank you for entering the contest! We look forward to being able to observe with you some night. If you have any problems or questions, please ask us. Be patient, and clear skies!
Let me also thank all the NSAAC members who have contributed both time and money to the success of this year’s program. As treasurer, I’ll be working this summer on proposals to allow us to continue the funding of this program.