Favorite Friday: Jim Varadi
Meet Jim Varadi, Astronomer Extraordinaire
In the past few years, we’ve come across some talented, passionate, brilliant, dedicated people. It’s been inspiring for us when they’ve been willing to contribute their time and energy-as WPE volunteers, partners, and sponsors-to strengthening and enriching education in our schools.
We decided to share the stories of these special collaborators and volunteers with you on Fridays! Enjoy!
How did you get involved with WPE? I met Amy at the Westerville music and Arts festival. Part of their display was their desire to put on the “Starry Night” program, and she asked me if I would be willing to help out in some fashion. I told her that I could provide a display and could maybe get others from the Columbus Astronomical Society to participate. That was the beginning of my involvement with WPE and “Starry Night.”
I am going to be working with WPE to help Walnut Springs Middle School form an Astronomy Club next year. I think this same thing could possibly be done at other schools with the help of additional volunteers from CAS. I think it’s possible to, throughout the year, do programs similar to “Stars in the Park” but in a smaller scale. We do have people in CAS who are retired who might be able to take a telescope to a science class during the week and give a short presentation on telescopes and how they work and are used. I had thought about the possibility of hosting an astronomy class for older children and maybe even parents.
How did you get involved in astronomy? I’ve always had a deep interest in astronomy and science. While in the Army, I was involved in Electronics as Aviation Equipment Repair and Missile Internal Guidance and Electronic Equipment Repair and Calibration. I was stationed at Redstone Arsenal and had a hand in the development of the Saturn V booster that was part of the Apollo program that eventually carried our astronauts to the Moon. That experience deepened my interest in astronomy.
What are some upcoming things happening with the Columbus Astronomical Society? CAS members help to put on the Friday night programs at Perkins Observatory by having our telescopes available on the lawn of Perkins for guests to observe through. There is a charge of $8.00 for those programs. During the end of summer, August or September, CAS will be having their annual Astronomy Fair. The only cost is $5.00 per car for parking. For more information about the Columbus Astronomical Society, check them out at: http://www.columbusastronomy.org/
Be sure to find Jim and other amazing CAS astronomers at our Stars in the Park stargazing night on May 3rd!