Belonging to an astronomy club might be considered kind of nerdy, but it helped two freshmen students win a trip to study the stars in Arizona.
â€œThink about it, youâ€™re a teen and youâ€™re growing up in the world of rap, and someone invites you into astronomy club,â€ said Ryan Owens, a winner, who originally thought the club wouldnâ€™t be cool.
â€œAll I need is a pair of glasses and a pocket protector, and Iâ€™ll be there,â€ Ryan said.
He changed his mind about the club after his friend and fellow winner, Daniel Hall told him how much fun it was.
Now, after months of working on a research project, the boys will be spending two days working with a professional astronomer at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona if the Lincoln County Board of Education approves their trip.
Ryan and Daniel put together a project after observing spectras in space via a software program called Starry Night.
They entered their findings in a national competition.
The boys hoped the research project would beef up their college applications, but they didnâ€™t think they had a chance at winning.
â€œOurs was just plain and laid out and simple,â€ said Daniel of their project.
Their club advisor, Debbie Michael, gave them the good news that they had won.
â€œI thought she was playing a joke on us,â€ said Daniel. â€œI really did because I didnâ€™t think we were going to win.â€
The two boys jumped up and down after learning about their victory. Neither one has ever seen the Southwest.
â€œI really want to see some cactuses and rattlesnakes,â€ said Daniel.
Ryan looks forward to flying on the plane and enjoying the hotelâ€™s pool.
Of course, the boys also plan on doing scientific research while on their trip.
â€œI ainâ€™t going there to waste it,â€ said Daniel who hopes the research they gain will help them win the Junior Science Symposium next year.
Although both boys have a talent in science, neither one plans to pursue a career in astronomy.
â€œAstronomers stay up all night and sleep all day, and I probably couldnâ€™t do that,â€ said Daniel.
He also has no desire to become an astronaut.
â€œIâ€™d never go up into space because Iâ€™d be afraid Iâ€™d blow up,â€ said Daniel.
Ryan, who never especially took an interest in astronomy prior to this year, is just happy he joined the club.
â€œI just never thought of it as something I would enjoy or go somewhere with,â€ said Ryan. â€œObviously I was proven wrong.â€by Sarah Grano