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Shooting for the stars

Sydney Cournoyer, Staff Contributor

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In the fall of 2016, Pleasant Valley’s astronomy club had their first meeting. It was created by AP physics teacher, Ian Spangenberg. Astronomy, as a course is not offered at Pleasant Valley High School, for that reason, a group of physics students suggested Spangenberg should start an astronomy club.

There is never a shortage of things to talk about when it comes to outer space. “Astronomy is the coolest,” Spangenberg says. “It is by far my favorite subject. What I like about it is you can go outside and look up and it is all there. But the hard part about astronomy is it is difficult to get into without knowing a lot of background. I started astronomy club to give kids the experience necessary to appreciate how amazing it all is,” he shares.

Senior, Subrat Acharya is one of the founding members of this club. “We don’t only talk about astronomy and stars in astronomy club, we also talk about how physics was involved in their formation and locations,” Acharya explained. During his Freshman and Sophomore year, he took AP physics courses 1 and 2 with Spangenberg as his teacher. “People should come because we have a good time talking about cool space stuff. Minds are occasionally blown,” Acharya adds.

The astronomy club also meets outside of the high school. They have taken field trips to local planetariums, the Jens-Wendt Observatory, and have met with the Quad City Astronomical Society. Speakers such as Elena Hansen from NASA have also visited to further inform students about the mysteries of outer space.

“I have always been interested in learning about the night sky. Astronomy is when you find about your place in the universe. There is no better way to find out about yourself than to find about where you live,” Spangenberg concluded.

Astronomy club meets every Thursday from 3:30 to 4:30 in Mr. Spangenberg’s room.  New members are always welcome!

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Shooting for the stars