On Tuesday, April 28, 2015, American School of Valencia celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope. Students from 6th to 11th grade enjoyed a variety of activities related to astronomy and space research. Each grade observed the sun with telescopes guided by two members from AVA (Valencian Association of Astronomy); students also toured a photography exhibition and attended a presentation on the Hubble’s history and how it has contributed to deepening our understanding of the Universe.
“Students enjoyed a different day”, Matias Benlloch, High School Science Department Coordinator said, “and each group, according to their age, was more intrigued in one aspect”. According to Mr. Benlloch, who organized the day, “students in higher grades were really engaged with the presentation and 6th and 7th graders had fun using the telescopes”.
Fernando Perez Mate, AVA member and invited guest speaker, remarked that “Hubble is the most versatile instrument to observe the universe. As it is orbiting the Earth, it is not affected by the atmosphere and can take infrared and ultraviolet images, something impossible for terrestrial observatories”. The conference also included a brief international video conversation with Lindon Lewis, who was the Chief Technologist at Ball Aerospace, the company that designed and produced all of the existing remote sensing instruments on the Hubble Space Telescope.
The day culminated in the unveiling of the selected image by Fernando Pérez Mate and Francisco Estela, an ASV parent who first encouraged the school to apply to participate in the anniversary. The photo of the star cluster Westerlund 2, courtesy of the European Southern Observatory and currently displayed in the school atrium, will be placed in the High School as a reminder that ASV was part of these worldwide celebrations and as inspiration to our aspiring scientists.