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NWA LETTERS

Space education advocates

have ‘big plans’ for NWA

As Michael Lieber stated May 4 in his letter to the editor, we at Supporting STEM and Space Inc. have very ambitious plans. We are going to build a facility that houses a large planetarium, an observatory, maker spaces, robotic labs, computer labs and changing exhibits related to space exploration. The telescope we are going to put in the observatory is indeed a 106-yearold, 24-inch refractor donated by Swarthmore College. It must be housed under a dome with shutters that open to the sky and that can rotate 360 degrees. The dome the Sproul Telescope is currently under is 45 feet in diameter. The public will love looking at the rings of Saturn, craters on the Moon and gullies on Mars.

We do not intend to be a research facility or a museum, but rather an education and recreation resource for the community. Using the universe and space exploration as our vehicle, we will capture the imagination of the people of Northwest Arkansas, making apparent the scope and breadth of career opportunities available in the STEM fields. We are STEM recruiters. When we set hearts on fire for science, technology, math and engineering, the individuals whose lives are changed will benefit, their families will benefit, our economic region will benefit, the university will benefit and our state will benefit.

Supporting STEM and Space has done more than make big plans. We have public astronomy outreach events at “Moon on Dickson” six to eight times a year (depending on weather) and we have donated eight small telescopes to area libraries for patrons to check out for backyard astronomy. The program is so popular the Bentonville library purchased an additional telescope. We are working on the library project with Sugar Creek Astronomical Society, which is helping with maintenance of the telescopes. Several times a year we also participate with the socieity in dark sky events at Hobbs State Park. More than 300 people drove out to one event last winter!

Lieber is absolutely correct that we are ambitious. We are on the move, and have grown from a nebulous idea to a functioning, registered nonprofit organization in just over two years. There is nothing sleepy about us. We invite the public to visit our website at www.nwa.space or check us out on Facebook. We are nearly halfway to our “Relocate the Telescope” fundraising goal! People interested in helping us with donations to move the Sproul telescope to Northwest Arkansas may visit our GoFundMe page, www.gofundme.com/sproulrelo.

KATHERINE AULD

Board chair

Supporting STEM and Space Inc.

and its board of directors

Why is President Trump

giving favor to Russia?

Our newly elected president seems to favor Russia at each opportunity. Why?

The United States should be his priority. That’s what we elected him for.

Is he in dereliction of his allegiance, loyalty and duty to America? Because this president appears to be very unAmerican in his position and his actions so far.

Every red-blooded American will probably be upset by the action of our own president in relation to Russia.

C.L. KEHMEIER

Rogers

letters@nwadg.com

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