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Southlake Style

Observe and Report

Nov 04, 2014 08:58AM ● By Amy
Astronomy lovers and CISD students alike have a reason to keep their chin —and head —up these days. Last week marked the grand opening and ribbon cutting of the new Dragon Observatory at Johnson Elementary.

Dr. Rene Moses, assistant principal at Johnson Elementary, welcomed the ribbon cutting attendees, and Dr. Taft Armandroff served as the guest speaker for the event. Astronomer Armandroff is the director of The University of Texas at Austin’s McDonald Observatory in Fort Davis, Texas. 

First and foremost, the Dragon Observatory will give astronomy students at CSHS the opportunity to use the facility for their studies and also research. Guided by Astronomy Teacher Sam Graff who has returned to his alma mater, (Dragon Class of 2003), astronomy students will learn through both classes and an astronomy club. The observatory will be available for other grade levels to experience as well.

Built for education and community involvement alike, the observatory is not just for students. Graff will also be leading community outreach star gazing nights. Southlake residents will have opportunities to explore galaxies far, far away. 

The new observatory was made possible through a grant from the Hudson Foundation. The M.R. & Evelyn Hudson Foundation, chartered in Kansas in the early 90’s, now has grown into a multi-million dollar foundation with an office in Southlake.

Focusing on organizations involved in education, children’s issues, discovery experiences, medical research and the arts, the foundation gave approximately $98,000 to ensure the project was substantially underwritten —driven and supported by —brothers John and Wally Hooser, whose mother was M.R. Hudson’s first cousin. The Hudson Foundation grant also covers the purchase of a portable star lab to be used by both students and members of the Southlake community.