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President Obama Helps Students Aim For The Stars

October 7, 2009

Call me what you wish, but this story below  just makes me pleased that President Obama is in the White House.  It might be the fact I love space and the sciences that pertain to the great unknown.  It might be the fact that this President understands the importance of education.  It might be that I apprecaite that Obama is intelligent and how it manifests itself in these ways as with the students tonight.  So for a variety of reasons this story from CNN hit a home run with me.

One hundred and forty lucky middle school aged students are headed to the South Lawn at the White House this evening for a night of star gazing with President Obama – but this time, the proceedings have nothing to do with Hollywood royalty.

Tonight’s festivities will target a very specific age group, one that typically succumbs to peer pressure and tends to move away from science and technology. According to former astronaut Dr. Sally Ride, who was on the South Lawn for a preview and will be there this evening, ‘this reminds them that science is cool, and tonight’s event might let them hold onto that interest’ going into high school and college.

The students from local middle schools in Washington, DC and Virginia who are coming to the White House tonight will be met by the ‘Inflatable Dome,’ a virtual universe that displays a realistic virtual show of the galaxies, as well as roughly twenty telescopes scattered about the lawn and pointed toward the heavens. Max Mutchler, a Hubble scientist, will be manning the Odyssey 8 telescope. Beyond the stars and the Earth’s own moon, according to Mutchler, the big draw this evening will be Jupiter and its moons, specifically the four brightest orbs — the same moons that Galileo first saw over 400 years ago — and the cloud structures that surround them.

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