18 December, 2023
In the quaint village of Kottavur in the district of Tiruvannamalai, Open Space Foundation conducted a Telescope observation program at Panchayat Union Middle School. This remote village became the stage for a remarkable encounter between eager students, enthusiastic teachers, and the wonders of the universe.
As the OSF team arrived, the excitement among the students was noticeable. The prospect of a telescope had the school grounds alive with enthusiasm, and the students' smiling faces warmly greeted the team. The telescope was set up, and a detailed session unfolded, explaining its uses, components, and the fascinating interplay of lenses and mirrors. The students, brimming with curiosity, actively engaged in the discussion, expressing not only interest in the telescope but also eagerness to participate in OSF's upcoming initiatives.
Despite the dull afternoon sky, the OSF team directed the telescope towards a majestic tree atop a 300-feet high mountain visible from the school. Around 50 students from classes 4 to 8 eagerly took turns to observe, their faces reflecting sheer astonishment and joy. Multiple turns were taken, with some students even gently touching the telescope, describing the tree as resembling a kite, and delighting in the sight of birds circling it. The infectious excitement of these young astronomers resonated with the teachers, who, equally astonished, joined in the observation.
After the observation session, the students couldn't contain their enthusiasm, expressing their desire for more opportunities to explore the sky. Some wanted to construct their own telescopes, while others were keen on participating in OSF's initiatives like the Namma Telescope Project, Luna Camp, and the Tamil Nadu Asteroid Search Campaign. The teachers echoed the same, reinforcing the impact of OSF's programs on their students.
The students and teachers, brimming with excitement, shared their feedback and bid the OSF team farewell with a heartfelt request for the telescope to return, providing them with more chances to gaze at the celestial wonders over their village. This special event underscored the profound interest in astronomy among the students of this remote village, fueling OSF's commitment to bringing the marvels of the universe to the farthest reaches of Tamil Nadu.