Joseph Bartin

Kirkwood High School
Kirkwood, MO

Project Description:

“Keep Your Eyes on the Skies,” Bartin’s winning program, was developed to increase student understanding of and interest in astronomy. Strengths of this project come from the fact that it will be built upon a very established astronomy program. Every year between 80 and 100 juniors and seniors enroll in the Kirkwood High’s astronomy elective. High school students will become experts at understanding and explaining objects, patterns, and phenomena that can be observed in the day and night sky. They will use their learned expertise to plan and present astronomy events for middle and elementary students, leading activities that range from finding constellations to operating telescopes and studying distant objects. Equipment purchased through the project is designed to be used for many years to come. The project is a revolving door for high school graduates, with new students entering who have grown through the project grades. One unique aspect of this project is it prepares students for the total solar eclipse of August 21, 2017, that will be visible only along a narrow path that crosses directly over the school. Observing a total solar eclipse is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – one that will draw observers from all over the world. Bartin, who lives in St. Louis, hopes the school will become a premier site for observing and understanding this event.