The McQuown Scholars have been part of the life of Yerkes Observatory for the past ten years, participating in star parties, tech projects, summer camps, and astronomical research. Thanks to the generous financial support from the McQuown Trust in Sonoma, California and Walworth-Fontana Rotary, the Environmental Education Foundation, and the Geneva Lake Association, GLAS Education is carrying on the tradition of nested mentorship and authentic engagement in astronomical research and engineering design projects that are hallmarks of the program. Side by side with professionals, this next generation of students will work with the staff of GLAS Education.
Observing and Research
Participate in the exciting field of astronomy using the remotely operated Stone Edge Observatory (SEO) telescope. New students learn to operate the SEO telescope via the internet and learn the observational techniques needed to achieve high-quality data and images. As students build their skills, they can move to projects ranging from tracking asteroids and variable stars to the most modern image processing techniques for creating scientific works of art.
Students are currently working on a Sky Survey using the SEO telescope and a variety of filters. Members of the Regional Office of Astronomy for Development from around the world are also participating in this project.
Lakeshore Environmental and Night Sky Sensor LENSS
The newest McQuown Scholars project is focused on preserving the darks skies of Walworth County. Light pollution negatively affects the health of humans, plants, animals, and even boating safety on Geneva Lake. Teams of high school students are currently designing, testing, and building remote monitoring stations to be placed around Geneva Lake. Dark Skies education is also a major component of the LENSS project where students work together to promote change and improve the lighting around the Geneva Lake area.