There’s a new telescope in the observation dome atop Sewickley Academy’s Oliver Building – courtesy of the Morris family. The telescope, a 12-inch Meade reflector with a computer-driven object finder, was donated because Clayton ’11, a student in Mr. Spicer’s astronomy classlast year, mentioned the need for a new telescope to his parents. He explains, “The telescope we were using in the class was unable to track the moving planets and galaxies in the sky, which made it difficult to keep track of them once we found them. We would find a planet and then would spend another 5-10 minutes finding it again after it had moved.”
So Clayton, a new astronomy aficionado, went home to his parents and not only shared his new knowledge in identifying constellations, but also pointed out the need for a new telescope with a computer-driven object finder – a feature that would make star gazing a lot easier. “My parents knew how much I loved Mr. Spicer’s class and astronomy, so they agreed to purchase the new scope.”
At the end of the summer, Clayton worked with Mr. Spicer to install the telescope, and the Morris family even had a chance to star gaze on it the night before Clayton and his sister (Aurley ’11) left for their first semester at Allegheny College. “We saw more things in that hour than I saw in two sessions the year before!”
“We love the Academy and as a family we just wanted to give. Now astronomy students will be able to see the planets they are learning about for long periods of time. It just makes the class more meaningful,” says Clayton, who recently declared astronomy as his minor.