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RCA General Meeting - Student scholarship awards and Pine Mountain Observatory Summer Program

  • OMSI 1945 Southeast Water Avenue Portland, OR, 97214 (map)
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Attack of the Teenage Astronomers!

The RCA General meeting is in the Auditorium beginning at 7:30. Ken Hose and Joe Minato will present Student scholarship awards and the Pine Mountain Observatory Summer Program.

The new member orientation will begin at 6:30 in the Planetarium. Most club services will be available in the Auditorium prior to the meeting. In particular, the Telescope Library will be operating near the Planetarium door. 

Student Projects

Tali Emlen and Diana Herrera, 12th Grade Wilson High School, Portland, mentored by RCA member Ken Hose, "Calculating the Distance to Star Cluster M52 and Telescopic Spectroscopy.” Both Tali and Diana were deeply involved in leadership and community service during their high school years. It seems whenever something good was happening, Tali and Diana were working behind the scenes making it happen. Tali is heading to Carleton College in Minnesota to study geology or chemistry. She will definitely be joining the Carleton Astronomy club! She also enjoys painting, hiking, and reading. Diana Herrera is continuing her studies at Portland Community College. She dreams of being a school teacher one day!

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Sasmitha Purushothaman, 7th Grade, Meadow Park Middle School, Beaverton, mentored by Teacher Susan Duncan, "Detecting Gravitational Waves: Laser Interferometer (LIGO).” Sasmitha, our youngest winner, tells us, “I am not a normal kid. I want to keep improving myself and be a leader some day!"

WILSON H.S. ASTRONOMY CLUB, group community service project with ten students, "The Big Eclipse Camp.”

Stella Burlingame is heading to PCC next year. Stella was deeply involved with the WHS Students for Environmental Action. She was often seen working in the garden, recycling, and generally spreading joy to anyone and everyone in her path.

Kaden Flick is heading to Oregon State University, where he will be studying Computer Science next year. Throughout high school Kaden was equally at home in the wood and metal shops as he was in the computer lab or enjoying the great outdoors. 

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Craig Weeks, is heading to Oregon State University to study engineering. Craig was a major force in the WHS Astronomy Club and a leader of the WHS Telescope Building Group. He also enjoys running, backpacking, and building just about anything!

Ruby Minato, WHS, just finished 9th grade. Ruby was the Big Eclipse mascot. She brings comfort and joy to small children, old people, and animals.

Hannah Weinstein will be attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in the fall to study Agricultural and Environmental Plant Science. She is interested in learning about environmental sustainability.

Alec Sautter will be attending Oregon State University to study engineering. Alec organized the WHS Red Cross blood drives and many other community service projects.

Molly Cohen will be attending Seattle University and majoring in nursing. She was involved in “unified” sports at WHS, where amazing student athletes such as Molly work with students with disabilities to form strong bonds through athletics.

Sarah Pfeiffer, WHS valedictorian, is off to UC San Diego to study English Literature and Italian. She also enjoys reading, baking, and spending time outdoors with her friends. 

Anna Kien, Rose Festival princess, will be studying at the University of Oregon Honors College studying Business Administration and Marketing Management. She loves studying different languages and immersing herself in different cultures.

Diana Herrera is the same Diana Herrera as above.

Sofia Solares and Kate Kelly, 12th Grade, Wilson High School, Tom Calderwood mentor, "Is Vega a variable star?” Both Sofia and Kate spend all of their high school years deeply involved in the drama program, both on stage and behind the scenes. The drama teacher was recently spotted suffering from shock thinking about how the program will survive without these two. Yet they found time to also do original astronomical research. Sofia is off to Whitman college. Sofia enjoys cooking and traveling and hopes to become a profesor to teach and facilitate chemical research. Kate is off to the University of Puget Sound. She loves dragon boats and running.

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Quinn Brown, 9th Grade, Wilson High School, Rob Brown, father, mentor "Tensegrity Telescope: Building a portable telescope.” Quinn just wrapped up his first year of high school. He can’t wait to design and build a better tetrad and return once again to the Oregon Star Party. Quinn is a long-time member of RCA!

David Fang, 11th Grade, Oregon Episcopal School, Peter Langley mentor, "Modeling the Orgit of Asteroid NEA 2003 QB90.” David is passionate about astrophysics. Last summer, he spent 4 weeks at the Yale Summer Program in Astrophysics, where he did the research for the project he submitted to RCA. He is also active in fencing and plays the viola. He enjoys working with Catholic Charities providing services to refugees.

Mitchell Simmons, 12th Grade, Wilson High School, Nick Nohner and Chris Bartlo, Computer Science teachers, Mentors, "A Python Program to Predict Lunar Eclipses.” Mitchell is a proud recent high school graduate heading to PCC and then Oregon State University to study engineering. Mitchell has also been involved in Scouts and recently became an Eagle Scout. He has a job this summer as staff at Camp Meriwether Boy Scout Camp near Tillamook.


Wilson High School teacher Joe Minato was born to be a science teacher. He grew up in beautiful Rockwood, Oregon, youngest of six children. He had a childhood of wonder and discovery, a gift he wishes for every child. He earned a BS in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MTE in science education. He is a recipient of the prestigious Polaroid Award for Outstanding Teaching at MIT. He has spent the last 30 plus years sharing his love of the natural world with a wide variety of students. He presently teaches physics and advises the Astronomy Club at Wilson High School in Portland, Oregon.


Slides From Our June Meeting

Earlier Event: June 18
New Member Orientation
Later Event: June 20
Cosmology SIG