Carroll students soon will be able to view the stars and beyond with the creation of an observatory.At it June 17 meeting, Southlake City Council approved the creation of the Dragon Astronomy Observatory at the back of the Johnson Elementary, 1301 N. Carroll Ave.“My dream is down the road we’ll have a big enough program to do work with UNT,” said Rene Moses, Carroll secondary science coordinator. “The kids want hands-on experience.”Carroll High School will add a high school astronomy course, which would use the observatory for night and day viewing through the school year. School leaders also planned star-gazing nights to give younger Dragons a taste of stargazing. Moses said the district plans to have the observatory online before the start of the upcoming school year.Moses said the addition of astronomy adds another science option for students in addition to programs like forensics and environmental sciences.The observatory would be near the school’s gazebo and occupy 384 square feet. The building’s design features a sliding roof that would retract to allow students to use telescopes to view the southern horizon. The students will use telescopes to view the sky and use computer technology in their studies.A $98,000 grant from the Hudson Foundation makes this initiative possible. The foundation also was a part of creating the Carroll Medical Academy. The district will use the grant to create the observatory, host star-gazing nights, add the high school astronomy course and help form campus astronomy clubs.Matt Miller, assistant superintendent for administrative services, said the district brought in an astronomy expert from the University of North Texas to help find the best location for the observatory.
Dustin L. Dangli, 817-390-7770 Twitter: @dustindangli