On Thursday, December 5, 2019, AAA VP Bart Fried supplied a bit of School Outreach at Q425 – John Bowne High School in Flushing, Queens. This was at the request of Asst. Principal Jonathan Zelkind, for the astronomy portion of an Earth Science class. The weather forecast was reasonable, but clouds moved in as the observing session was about to start. So, while waiting, a short class discussion was held, describing various aspects of astronomy … the basics, really. Then the class moved outside to wait for the sky to clear. Temps were in the low 40s F and dropping. The hardy students hung in for 40 minutes while Bart extended the astronomy discussion, covering a wide variety of topics and answering questions from the attentive class. Their hardiness paid off, and with some holes opening up in the clouds, Bart quickly set up a 3-1/2 inch antique refractor; each of the students and two instructors were rewarded with a view of the first-quarter moon.
They all enjoyed it and Jonathan wrote, “Bart, thank you so very much for coming out to our school tonight and sharing your passion with our students. You fielded every single one of their questions and most certainly kept their attention. It was great! I’m going to have to remember to have hot chocolate for everyone next time, though! Perseverance paid off, and the kids got to see the Moon through the scope on a beautiful December night, so truly thank you.”
And of course, after packing up at 6 pm, and with the class gone … the skies cleared up nicely!