COST: $3,400
AGE: Rising 8th graders and older
DATES: july 12-26, 2020

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 and study that light to learn about the universe. Finally, each student modifies and takes home a 5-inch reflecting telescope. Applicants range from novices with a passion for learning more about the night sky to experienced amateur astronomers interested in learning scientific techniques.


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.

Mark Favale, Instructor

Mark Favale is a Physics and Astronomy teacher at West Haven High School. In his spare time he enjoys exploring, working outside, and restoring antique cars. This will be his third year at the Summer Portals program.