A Star Story


Graphic courtesy of Canva.

Zach Kunkle, Contributor

An evening under the stars: what could be better than that?

The Astronomy Club at Emmaus High School excitedly prepares for one of the many star-related events of the school year: the Star Party.

The Star Party is an event hosted by the Astronomy teacher Andrew McConville that takes place in the evening after school, according to members of the Astronomy Club.

Students can come to the Star Party to view the night sky while laying on blankets or sitting on chairs. They can enter the Observatory and observe the stars up close. They can eat snacks and drink soda, and otherwise just have fun with their friends during the evening of festivities.

Students who attended in past years say that they enjoyed the Star Parties.

“We bring blankets and chairs and different snacks, and look out of telescopes, and [basically] just frolic in a field,” says junior Katelyn Smoyer. 

Despite needing to supply themselves and other students with food and drinks, students seem to enjoy the freedom of looking at the stars with their friends without being restricted to only academic activities.

However, some students not associated with the Astronomy Club have doubts about the nature of a Star Party. 

Aaron Billowitch, a junior at Emmaus, is not opposed to going to an event like a Star Party, but he questions whether or not the Star Party is strictly educational.

He equates the event to other school activities, like school dances. He would not enjoy going to a dance with his friends, as a school dance practically requires that the student actually dances. He would therefore not be interested in attending a Star Party if the hosts of the event force the attendees to learn about Astronomy.

However, he says, “it all depends on how lenient it is.” He would be interested in attending the event if he could simply hang out with his friends, who may or may not be interested in Astronomy, after dark with the comfort of chairs and refreshments.

This year, McConville is deciding whether the Star Parties this year should take place over the course of multiple evenings, as the Astronomy Club has more students this year compared to past years, and the number rises with each passing week. In fact, the Astronomy Club has so many members that they cannot even use the Astronomy Room any more, and have since moved into the Multimedia Room to accommodate their large body count.

The Astronomy Club is hoping to accomplish much this year, including having Star Parties, fixing up the Observatory, and overall having a good time. To learn more about the event, attend the Astronomy Club on Wednesdays.