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1911 Telescope Relocation Project


Supporting STEM and Space Inc. is bringing one of the largest refracting telescopes in the world to Northwest Arkansas

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1911 Telescope Relocation Project


Supporting STEM and Space Inc. is bringing one of the largest refracting telescopes in the world to Northwest Arkansas

 DONATE NOW→

 

Giant Telescope Coming to NWA

 

1911 Telescope Relocation Project

Quick Facts:

  • Completed in 1911 by the John A Brashear Company
  • 24-inch aperture
  • 36 foot focal length
  • Tied for 6th largest refracting telescope in the United States
  • Cast iron mount and pier weigh 50,000 lbs

Swarthmore College just outside Philadelphia is currently home to a massive 24-inch diameter refractor telescope. Originally built in 1911 by the John Brashear Company to the specifications of William Cameron Sproul who donated the instrument to Swarthmore College, the Telescope is an f/18 instrument – 18x longer than it is wide – and the optical tube is 36-ft long.  The Sproul Observatory building at Swarthmore is being repurposed because a new observatory has been constructed housing a modern instrument.  Swarthmore College sought out a college or group who could repurpose the instrument and use it for public outreach and STEM education –Supporting STEM and Space has accepted the challenge and is currently raising funding to bring this historic instrument to Northwest Arkansas.

Northwest Arkansas has seen a renaissance in astronomy in the last decade, both in terms of active amateur astronomy, and in astronomy education in local schools.  Supporting STEM and Space co-host International Observe the Moon nights each year. They also have members who speak in the public schools and at local libraries numerous times each year. Supporting STEM and Space is also the primary sponsor of Northwest Arkansas’ new Library Telescope Project, a nationwide effort to put Telescopes in local libraries for use by library members.

The Sugar Creek Astronomical Society – a local astronomy club – hosts one of the largest regularly occurring astronomy event in the nation; their Hobbs State Park Astronomy Nights host several hundred avid amateur astronomers bi-monthly.  The University of Arkansas at Fayetteville now boasts an Astronomy for Educators program that trains new teachers in astronomy education and actively reaches out to help train local teachers and provide astronomy programs as STEM outreach to schools across the area.  This program reaches more than 1,000 students each year and provides training to hundreds of educators each school year.

Supporting STEM and Space is seeking to bring this wonderful telescope to Northwest Arkansas to provide a much needed focal point for astronomy education and STEM outreach for our area.  Dr. Daniel Barth, Assistant Professor of STEM Education at the University of Arkansas stated in a recent interview: “We need a local center – an observatory – where K-12 teachers can train and learn to teach astronomy, and STEM education.  A place where students, parents, and members of the public can gather, not only to use this magnificent instrument, but bring their own telescopes and binoculars and make a personal connection to the night sky.”

 
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Supporting STEM & Space


Supporting STEM & Space


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Vision


Vision


To build a science center (ever-changing, visitor-focused, dynamic and ongoing) on the I-49 corridor that will involve visitors with science and technology, through the exploration of space.

We want to build a science center with a 150-seat planetarium, permanent science exhibits, robotics lab, exhibits emphasizing current events in science, gift shop, classrooms for use by field trips, home school associations and local groups.  We also want to possibly include an IMAX theatre.  The center will ultimately be about 40,000 square feet in a LEED certified building that compliments the local area.  The center will be located on the I-49 corridor to increase visibility and availability and it will be connected to the area bike/hike trails.  We hope to break ground within three years and open within five.

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Events


Events


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Contact Information


Contact Information