School Observatory enhances science curriculum - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waterloo school observatory enhances science curriculum

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

For Waterloo Hoover Middle School student Allison Stuenkel, the sky's the limit with the observatory at her school.

"I'm really looking forward to looking at the stars because you can actually see the planets from our telescope up there and so I'm really excited to just see what it looks like outside of Earth," said Stuenkel.

Stuenkel is one of a number of students who have joined the new astronomy club taught by Kelsy Knebel.

"It's such an awesome thing. How could you deny this for the students," said Knebel.

The observatory hasn't been utilized for about 15 years, but originally it was housed at Waterloo West High School.

"The building initially was constructed in 1967 after the initial building which was over at West which housed the initially telescope had burned down," said Knebel.

 

It is unclear why the observatory sat empty for all these years. But thanks to Knebel she got the ball rolling to restore it once again, by applying for a small grant from the Waterloo Schools Foundation for two sun spotters and a solar filter.

"So excited about this resource available, you know even being 'oh I have a telescope at home and I really want to know how to use that' verse 'wow I'd like to take a field trip and drive up and look at the Northern Lights. Really thinking outside the box in terms of what this could potentially be for out students," said Knebel.

 

The students have already been utilizing the observatory. It's expected to enhance the science curriculum for all Waterloo students in the district.

If you would like to look at the stars, the observatory will be open for public viewing November 14 and December 12.

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