Monday, March 14, 2016

Williamsville teacher selected for NASA 'flying telescope'

Jennifer Hubbell-Thomas is hitching a ride on a star. Or at least on an instrument to study the stars.

Hubbell-Thomas, an eighth-grade science teacher at Williamsville Junior High School, is to be a part of 11 educator teams participating in NASA's Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors program. The teams will be flying this fall and winter on NASA's "flying telescope," the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA.

As part of the application process, Hubbell-Thomas has made several public presentations in astronomy, including at Girl Tech, a two-day technology summer camp at the University of Illinois Springfield for girls entering the seventh, eighth and ninth grades. Hubbell-Thomas has also volunteered at the Henry R. Barber Research Observatory, owned and operated by UIS, near Pleasant Plains, and been part of the popular UIS Star Parties.

Hubbell-Thomas, who earned a master's degree from UIS, was mentored by Charles Schweighauser, a professor emeritus of English and astronomy/physics.

The story was reported by The State Journal-Register on March 14, 2016.

Read the story online.