Reaching for the stars

Ben Davis student starts Astronomy Club


Junior Shi Tuck has started an Astronomy Club this school year.

“Have you ever gazed up at the stars and wondered what’s out there? Would you like to learn about rocketry and become a virtual rocket scientist? Do you want to amaze your friends with your knowledge of our cosmos?”

You have probably heard this teaser over the loudspeakers. You have likely seen flyers for Astronomy Club plastering the hallway walls. But you may not know the Ben Davis student—or the story—behind the club’s initiation.

When she was in seventh grade, junior Shi Tuck noticed that she commonly started in-depth conversations about scientific theories such as the big bang theory, string theory and the possibility for extraterrestrial life. Her passion for discussing science sparked an idea—she could start a club where students could talk and learn about the subject.

“I created the Astronomy Club in order to have an organized place where Ben Davis students can discuss scientific theories that go beyond the Earth’s bounds,” Tuck said.

However, Astronomy Club did not get off the ground until the end of Tuck’s sophomore year and had a few stumbles along the way. Tuck’s biggest obstacle was finding a teacher who was interested in sponsoring the club. The group’s first sponsor was science teacher Donna Miley, and this year the sponsor is engineering and technology teacher Aaron Moss.

Now that Astronomy Club is an established organization, its founder is developing exciting plans. During the club’s first full year, Tuck wants to organize a space day that younger students in Wayne Township can attend to learn more about astronomy and rocketry. Proceeds will go to purchasing science books for elementary school libraries.

Tuck also has a lineup of topics ready for the club members to discuss. This year, Astronomy Club members will learn about the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe, the big bang theory, the future of spaceflight, nebula, exoplanets and the implications of science fiction on society.

Astronomy Club meets every Thursday at 3:30 in U103. Students can also find the club on Facebook (BDHS Astronomy Club) and Twitter (@BDHSAstronomy), where Tuck posts announcements and general information relating to the club.


Meet Shi:

Q: What is your dream job?

A: I hope to either become an aerospace engineer or astrophysicist when I “grow up.” But as far as a “dream job,” I would have to choose astronaut.

Q: If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

A: If there are no restraints, I would love to travel to Titan, Saturn’s moon, supplied with a life support system, a ticket back to Earth and the necessary scientific equipment to best analyze the moon’s makeup. However, as far as Earth-bound destinations go, I would like to travel to the National Physical Laboratories in the UK for the NPL Open House, or I would like to travel to CERN particle accelerator.

Q: If you could talk to any person (living or dead), who would you want to talk to?

A: I would most like to listen to either Marie Curie, Richard Feynman or Sally Ride.

Q: If you could solve any of the universe’s mysteries, which one would you choose?

A: I would like to conclusively confirm the big bang theory and further determine what happened before the big bang.