Community

Teen stargazing events Monday at Coupeville Library

Leslie Franzen, branch manager for the Coupeville Library, said the library has worked with the Island County Astronomical Society before, but never for teens specifically.

On Monday, July 14, the Coupeville Library is partnering with astronomy group, the Boys & Girls Club, and Friends of the Coupeville Library to present two events.

“What’s App’ning with the Stars” will be 1-3 p.m., and “ ‘Space Jam’/Stargazing” is 7:30-11 p.m.

When the library expanded four years ago, everything else, like the programs the library offers, also expanded, Franzen said.

Until now, she was the only person working with the teen programs, but this summer she tried to focus on the teens specifically. She hired Kate Poss to serve as the new teen contact for the library.

Poss said she is inspired by the night sky and how it frees people from their daily lives.

“It allows for people to wonder,” she said.

Franzen said she hopes it will be a robust program and that she’s always liked working with kids.

“They’ve got something fun to do,” Franzen said. “It’s our way of bringing them an opportunity.”

Franzen, having coached high school sports years ago, said as much as she liked working with athletes, she hopes to include teens who don’t necessarily play sports at this event.

“It draws a group of kids you won’t find in sports activities,” she said. “It gives them an opportunity to just enjoy the kinds of things that might appeal to them.”

But for those interested in sports, and a “stellar” film, the second event will include a showing of “Space Jam,” the 1990s film starring Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny.

And if teens attend either event, they will be entered in a raffle to win gift certificates to local businesses.

The afternoon and evening events are meant to go together. The teens will learn about the apps they can use to view planets and stars at the afternoon event, and then after the movie during the evening event, they will have the opportunity to go outside and use their apps and telescopes to see what the sky holds.

Both events will be taught by Richard Everett, a member of the astronomy group. Everett will show the teens how to use the apps, share his experiences and knowledge, and be available for questions.

Franzen said everything about the events — including the apps — will be free. Everett will show the kids how to use the apps, and then they’ll be able to use them to look at the night sky after watching the film. Poss said they’re hoping to see the Earth’s moon and the planets Saturn, Jupiter and Mars.

“It’s cool to be able to know what you’re looking at,” Poss said.

“Being out in nature is just incredible.”

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