When Queen Charlotte Intermediate School students get the urge to look to the
stars they’re going to have the right equipment to do it thanks to the recent donation of a new telescope.
That donation was thanks to local amateur astronomer Keith Cooper, who organized the
Scopes for Schools program to help make astronomy more accessible for students.
Thibodeau, a Grade 7 student who is part of Queen Charlotte’s astronomy club, said the donation will help the group
a lot by letting the students see objects in space more clearly.
of just hearing about it in class we get to see it,” she said.
considers himself a sidewalk astronomer who sets up his telescope around Charlottetown to peer into the sky and let anyone
who is interested take a look through his equipment.
month, he was at Queen Charlotte Intermediate to present a Dobsonian telescope as part of the Scopes for Schools program with
help from Cyrilla Saunders of CIBC Wood Gundy, who helped provide funding.
connection to the school came through a solar viewing session he held one day. He said the interest he saw from the students
and other children made him think about donating a telescope.
said someone suggested donating to more than one school, but he wasn’t sure if that was likely to happen.
Since then he got seven telescopes to give away, thanks to help from donors.
The telescopes, which retail for about $500, are for serious observation and will give
the students great views of the sky, including objects in deep space, Cooper said.
are not a toy telescope.”
Cooper said he isn’t looking for any
gratitude and he gets satisfaction out of seeing the look on people’s faces when they use a telescope to see something
like the rings of Saturn or craters on the moon big enough to fit the city of Halifax.
“They’re going to go on a journey of exploration and discovery,” he said.
For Thibodeau, she said she likes that astronomy lets her look up at the sky to see stars and think about
how far away they are.
“It’s kind of cool,” she