Stargazing in Buckfield

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BUCKFIELD — The community is invited to stargaze at the official unveiling of the new outdoor classroom at Buckfield Junior-Senior High School next week.

The event begins at 6 p.m. Feb. 8 in the home economics classroom with a potluck supper. Afterward, people go to the wood-framed, open building to look at the stars through a telescope.

Gretchen Kimball, middle school science teacher, has designed a star chart to help those who take part.

“The chart will show what is in the night sky,” she said.

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High school science teacher Chandele Gray will show how to use the telescope.

Participants are asked to bring headlamps, lawn chairs and sleeping bags or other warm coverings.

If classes are cancelled due to bad weather, or if the sky is too cloudy for star stargazing, the event will be rescheduled.

“We’re unveiling our outdoor classroom. We hope it can be used for little concerts and the drama club in the future,” Kimball said.

The event coincides with a solar system unit about to be taught to eighth-graders, she said.

It is sponsored by the middle school and the Western Foothills Kids Association.

The classroom was financed by a grant from Lowe’s Toolbox and built by students, parents and community members.

It is near the school garden and will be used as part of the middle school’s garden project in the spring. Next to it, a 15- by 20-foot hoop house will be erected in the spring with help from high school science teacher Caleb McNaughton.

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