The Observatory Goes to School


Contributing Writer
Walt Pickut
Board of Directors, MMMAA

Space is the 21st Century’s newest and hottest frontier for business, industry, travel and soon, even tourism. Space is leading the coming revolution in education and employment.
Schools are gearing up for this new demand with a new curriculum called STEM, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. As a result, astronomy is becoming one of the most demanded courses in schools across the country. Astronomy teaches every critical building block in a complete STEM curriculum. Space is no longer science fiction. It is the fascinating and exciting fabric of 20th Century life and the door to the future for every American student.
Enter, The Martz Astronomical Observatory in Frewsburg. It is no longer the “Best Kept Secret in Chautauqua County”. It is rapidly becoming one of the premier centers for Astronomy and STEM education in the Northeast of the United States.

The Martz Observatory is inviting local residents, especially parents and grandparents of students in any of Chautauqua County’s school systems, to partner with them in making the Observatory into a permanent addition – classrooms, laboratory and science mentor – for every school in the county.
How to join? With the recent receipt of a major grant and the gift of Dr. Ron Kohl’s personal Observatory added to Martz’s array of telescopes, building will soon begin on a new wing and control room dedicated to STEM education. Martz can put all of this to use with just a little more help.
Martz’s ongoing capital campaign is now addressing its next challenge: funds to simply pour the concrete foundation for the newly funded addition, ready to expanded into full scale operation. These funds are urgently needed in the summer of 2014 to complete construction before winter.

Spaceport Chautauqua
Teachers are now being trained at Martz to work with students in any classroom with a computer who can log onto the Observatory’s remote computers, program independent projects and even original research, as if the whole facility was right in their own school. Tests have now been completed – the system is operational – for students to receive the breathtaking images and data from deep space in their own classrooms the next morning.
This portion of the campaign will kick off in mid-July, watch for the many ways residents can contribute to and partner with this exciting new addition to our students’ future in space.

News from the Marshal Martz Observatory and the universe beyond our skies is brought to our readers every month by Hall & Laury Optical at 707 Fairmount Ave Ste 10 Jamestown NY, the quality local source for the latest in fashion and highest of quality in glasses and optical aids of every kind, including repairs.

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Walt Pickut
Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.