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Astronomy

COST: $3,400
AGE: Rising 8th graders and older
DATES: July 16-30, 2017

SPOTS AVAILABLE: 12

The Astronomy program introduces students to a variety of experiences in observational astronomy, using the Hotchkiss Observatory and its computer-controlled 20-inch reflecting telescope with CCD camera to capture images for science and beauty. Students learn image processing techniques for turning images into useful scientific data and work on projects such as variable star observing, sunspot tracking, and solar system object monitoring. They also learn about the physics of light and how astronomers manipulate that light to learn about the universe. Finally, each student builds and takes home a 6-inch reflecting telescope. Applicants range from novices with a passion for learning more about our galaxy of stars to experienced amateur astronomers who want to expand their knowledge of the Universe.

Faculty

Bill Fenton, Program Director

Bill Fenton is an Instructor in Physics and Astronomy at the Hotchkiss School and the recipient of the 2016 James C. Kapteyn Prize from The Berkshire Taconic Foundation. He has been working in a growing robotics program for the last six years, teaching an elective in robotics and advising a student club and independent studies that relate to robotics and physical computing. Bill trained at Carnegie Melon with the creators of the RobotC programing language. A tinkerer at heart, Bill can usually be found in his lab building things. His latest creations include an Augmented Reality Sandbox, a internet-enabled Detroit Tigers Scoreboard and a GPS puzzle box.