Local students reach for the stars in special science program

NORWICH – Area third graders had a unique opportunity to learn about science and astronomy last week when educators from the Kopernik Observatory in Vestal set up shop at Perry Browne Intermediate School.

The two-day program, dubbed Kopernik Observatory Days, was made possible by a nearly $29,000 grant from Mead WestVaco of Sidney.

“Hopefully we piqued their interest in science and their curiosity about our world,” said Kopernik’s Public Programs Coordinator Roy Williams, who helped write the grant proposal.

According to Williams, the observatory had worked on a previous grant with the manufacturer to provide educational opportunities to area school children. Williams said Mead helped select Norwich and Harpursville as “hubs” for the program, so that children of their employees would be included.

Nearly 400 students cycled through the program at Perry Browne last week. They included third graders from Perry Browne, Oxford Academy, Holy Family, Gilbertsville-Mt Upton, Unatego, Unadilla Valley and Valley Heights Christian Academy.

Students from Greene, Bainbridge-Guilford and Afton will have the opportunity to participate in an identical program at Harpursville later this month.

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