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Students win trip to Arizona

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.
“Think about it, you’re a teen and you’re growing up in the world of rap, and someone invites you into astronomy club,” said Ryan Owens, a winner, who originally thought the club wouldn’t be cool.
“All I need is a pair of glasses and a pocket protector, and I’ll be there,” 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 didn’t think they had a chance at winning.
“Ours was just plain and laid out and simple,” said Daniel of their project.
Their club advisor, Debbie Michael, gave them the good news that they had won.
“I thought she was playing a joke on us,” said Daniel. “I really did because I didn’t think we were going to win.”
The two boys jumped up and down after learning about their victory. Neither one has ever seen the Southwest.
“I really want to see some cactuses and rattlesnakes,” said Daniel.
Ryan looks forward to flying on the plane and enjoying the hotel’s pool.
Of course, the boys also plan on doing scientific research while on their trip.
“I ain’t going there to waste it,” 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.
“Astronomers stay up all night and sleep all day, and I probably couldn’t do that,” said Daniel.
He also has no desire to become an astronaut.
“I’d never go up into space because I’d be afraid I’d blow up,” said Daniel.
Ryan, who never especially took an interest in astronomy prior to this year, is just happy he joined the club.
“I just never thought of it as something I would enjoy or go somewhere with,” said Ryan. “Obviously I was proven wrong.”by Sarah Grano

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