In another event linked to the One School, One Story: Hidden Figures program at Grier, students constructed Galileoscopes, a type of telescope used by Renaissance astronomer Galileo. Over the course of two Extra Help periods, students assembled the telescopes in the library. The cost of the kits and tripods was defrayed by generous donations facilitated by Grier’s Director of Development, Harriet Grier.
The assembly process included piecing together lenses of different shapes and magnifications, resulting in three different eyepiece combinations for different magnifications. The students place their finished scopes onto portable tripods. Since it was daytime, Mrs. Fernandes projected images of space objects including the moon and Saturn onto the Library’s projector screen. Students aimed their scopes at the images to get a sense of what it would be like to position their telescopes, focus, and see objects magnified.
Mrs. Fernandes reminded the students to never look at the sun through the telescopes like Galileo did; he went blind doing this! The Galileoscopes can be used to see the moon, rings of Saturn, and other objects in space. One thing everyone noticed was that the nature of the lens causes images to appear upside down. Students who participated took their Galileoscopes and tripods with them, saving them to use for stargazing when they have the chance.