SEA seeks out the stars


Jasjot Kaur, Copy and Features Editor

On Friday May 3, the Space and Engineering Academy (SEA) held this year’s Stargazing Event in the quad after school around 8 p.m. SEA students were encouraged to come out and view the stars with their fellow classmates to further their interests and bond with one another.

The Stockton Astronomical Society (SAS) plays a vital role in making the event possible as they provide the professional telescope and binoculars used to view the stars right from our quad. And had that not been generous enough, the SAS provides the equipment free of charge.

Doug Christensen, a member of SAS, attended the event and provided students with extensive information about the cosmos. Christensen took time out of his own day to arrive at the event as astronomy isn’t Christensen’s full time job, but rather a passionate hobby. He mentioned that Friday had not been the best opportunity for stargazing as the moon was not present and because the automatic lamp posts caused light pollution. Nonetheless, students eagerly viewed stars, galaxies and even Mars through the Celestron NexStar 8SE telescope. Messier 81 was the galaxy students were able to view and Christensen shared that a super-massive black hole sits inside of it.

The stargazing event exposes students to real-world experiences in regards to their fascinations while still having a good time. Co-Vice Presidents of the SEA juniors Laasya Gadamsetti and Dalton Young view this event as an opportunity for students to interact with the SSA and “understand what it’s like to work in this type of a field, or even find a passion.”

When asked why students should come in following years, Gadamsetti said, “Academy events are mostly for students to socialize outside of the Academy and create bonds that will last throughout high school.” While Young believes the over-arching goal of the Academy “is not just to expose you to engineering and physics related things, but to build a community and get students to interact as any career you get into has a human-relations aspect.”

The stargazing event was an out of this world experience. If you’d like to attend a Star Party hosted by the Stockton Astronomical Society, check out their website for more information!