There’s good news for astronomy enthusiasts. Astroquest, a new free online astronomy series, is launching on Zoom and a rocket is taking off from western Massachusetts.

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- There’s good news for astronomy enthusiasts. Astroquest, a new free online astronomy series, is launching on Zoom and a rocket is taking off from western Massachusetts.

Western Mass News caught up with guests at the Springfield Museums, who were excited about this new addition. Cheryl Lusco, a special education teacher, told Western Mass News that museums really help bring knowledge to life.

“Museums are great resources for students to really accentuate what they learn in the classroom,” Lusco said.

The pandemic created a lot of opportunities for unique learning experiences, including changes to the Springfield Museums ‘Stars Over Springfield’ program.

“Folks would come in, they’d be treated to a presentation of some sort, and then weather permitting, they’d get to come up here and look out through the telescope. Obviously, we had to call that off during the pandemic,” said Kevin Kopchynski, astronomy and STEM educator at Springfield Museums.

After successfully converting that program to an online setting, a new star is now being born.

“We want to continue with that online experience, so we’re starting out this new series,” Kopchynski noted.

Kopchynski told Western Mass News that the online format allows them to explore astronomy in ways not available in the traditional setting.

“I think it definitely helps deepen the understanding. I mean, we’re just enjoying the fact of doing this,” Kopchynski explained.

They plan to cover the summer solstice, current happenings in space, and will include special guests from co-hosts to local amateur astronomers.

“It could be a good family event, where the family can listen…Perhaps the adults will get a little more out of it, but they can kind of reshare it with their kids,” Kopchynski added.

Regardless of age, Lusco said like the universe, learning never really ends.

“Even though I know, you know, some of the information, I’ve learned something new today,” Lusco added.

This free virtual resource is available to everyone, regardless of if you are a western Massachusetts resident or not. For details on how to access the zoom link, you can CLICK HERE.

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