Tullahoma – On Friday, September 15, 2017, seventy-five fifth grade students from East Lincoln Elementary School in Tullahoma, TN became the first class to visit the University of Tennessee Space Institute (UTSI) new solar observatory.
Mrs. Carole Thomas, UTSI Stem Manager, who was instrumental in coordinating and securing funds to build the new solar observatory at UTSI, welcomed the 5th grade students. UTSI graduate research assistants (GRA), Katrina Sweetland, Andrew Broadbent and Adam Croft gave a brief presentation on the sun and an overview of the eclipse. Following the presentation, the fifth graders were given an opportunity to experiment with the telescopes in the observatory.
Special guest on hand included Louis “Jody” Baltz, City Administrator and Mayor Cordell from Coffee County. Ms. Thomas stated, “Both were instrumental in UTSI acquiring funding from the Tennessee Community and Economic Development Three Star Program that aided in the building of the solar observatory and purchase of telescopes”.
AEDC, Jere Matty was also present and participated by bringing his discovery dome for the students to enjoy as well.