Richmond Astronomical Society

Sunspots pay off for science fair winner

Mar 25th, 2012 | By | Category: Blog, Events

As most of you are aware, RAS shows their support for future scientists by awarding money at the Metro Richmond Science Fair. We call it the Wilber T. Stone Award and look for exhibits that demonstrate astronomy or space science. The Fair encompasses all of the Richmond and surrounding county schools, so it’s quite large–usually on the order of 2-300 entries.

We’ve been doing this for about 15 years now, and we almost always have at least one recipient. And we had a good one this year–Sydney Mabry, of Moody Middle School, composed her project on sunspots by observing them with a telescope that she constructed herself. She was able to determine that the size of a sunspot is directly related to how long the sunspot exists.


Not only did Sydney have a good day in collecting our award, she also won the Milky Way Award . This is not an official award, but one I give out to someone in the audience if they can answer a question about a recent astronomy event. Syndey was the first one to come up with the answer, “which space agency launched the robotic supply ship to the International Space Station,” on the day before the science fair? It was the European Space Agency. Her prize? A Milky Way candy bar, of course.


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