Now in its fifth year, the Horkheimer Award for Exceptional Service by a Young Astronomer, recognizes outstanding service by League astronomers under the age of 19. The League has grown to over 260 clubs and 19,000 members. We had an outstanding group of submissions this year. The judges for this year's competitions were all past presidents of the Astronomical League: Barry Beaman, Orville Brettman and Jim Fox. With such talented individuals being nominated for this award, the judges job were most difficult in a good kind of way.
First Place: Isaac Campbell
Our 2002 winner is Isaac Campbell from Vinton, Virginia. He is home schooled and was a senior this year. Isaac will receive the $1,000 cash award at the ALCON awards banquet on August 3 in Salt Lake City.
Isaac is an active member of the Roanoke Valley Astronomical Society since he was 14 years old. He has given club presentations on such topics as "How to construct a red LED flashlight" and a "Report on University of Arizona Advanced Astronomy Camp for Teens. In addition, he helped coordinate Astronomy Day 2002 for his Club.
Isaac is an active observer, having participated in many observing sessions with his club. He is involved in the following League Observing programs: Messier, Urban, Double Star and Herschel 400. In 2001 he attended the Virginia Association of Astronomical Societies conference.
He has conducted numerous planetarium shows for school groups at the Science Museum of Western Virginia, Hopkins Planetarium. In addition, he helps out with public observing of the moon and planets at that facility. He currently assists with the Franklin County Virginia Parks Department observing sessions.
Isaac has assisted in setting up local science fair displays. He has prepared an astronomy class for grade school and high school home school students. Also, he has enrolled in
college level astronomy classes and attended the University of Arizona Advanced Astronomy Camp for Teens and worked on a research project while there "Spectroscopic
Analysis of Summer Planetary Nebulae".
And finally, Isaac is the co-founder of a web-based astronomy club for teens and a chat room and message board for teenagers interested in astronomy.
Second Place: Kayla LaFrance
Second place honors go to Kayla LaFrance, who resides in Greenacres, Washington. She will be a senior this year at Central Valley High School in Veradale, Washington.
Kayla joinedthe Spokane Astronomical Society at age 12 and has been one of its most active members ever since. She was one of the first members of the club's Young Astronomer group and has played a large part in making it a success over the past five years. Kayla, along with others from that group, took on the task of organizing the history of the club, one of the oldest in the nation. In addition, she has taken part in many of the star parties the club has sponsored for schools, scout groups, church groups, charities and the general public. Last fall she joined the ATM group and began grinding her own 16" mirror and restoring a long-forgotten telescope. She is a great ambassador for her club and astronomy in dealing with people of all ages and with the media.
In 2000, Kayla won fourth place in the Duracell Invention Challenge for a gyroscope clipboard she designed that would remain stationary when released in the weightless environment aboard the shuttle. It was an ingenious idea that could eventually be incorporated into many small hand tools and other items, allowing them to remain stationary relative to their environment.
In the words of NW Regional Vice-President Paul Wicklund, "When I first met Kayla, she told me she was going to be an astronaut and would go to Mars someday ... and she
has never lost sight of the goal."
Third Place: Jared Barnhill
Jared Barnhill from Port Orchard, Washington is our third place winner. He was a senior
this year at South Kitsap High School in Port Orchard.
Jared is in his second year as an astronomer for Project Astro, coordinated in the Puget Sound region by the Astronomy Department of the University of Washington. He worked with fourth graders at Esquire Hills Elementary this year. Also, he managed the 2001 Astronomy Day at the club's observatory. He has given presentations at his club meetings, been selected to the National Young Leaders Conference and has also been a member of the National Honor Society.
In 1998, his interest in astronomy and imaging resulted in a deal with his father. If Jared earned half the money for a telescope, his father would pay the rest. Through hard work, Jared obtained the money and become the proud owner of a ten-inch telescope when he
was a ninth grader. He and his father have recently completed an observatory at their home. Jared has used it to host class groups from his high school.
Fourth Place: Lauren Rae Layton
Lauren Rae Layton, our fourth place winner, lives in Newark, Delaware. She was a senior this year at Newark High School.
Lauren founded a high school Astronomy & Aeronautics Club during her sophomore year. Some of the activities of the group have included monthly meetings at which members learn more about astronomy, sponsoring monthly star parties and setting up an annual model rocket launch. Last year, her group hosted ISS astronaut Pamela Melroy. Two telescopes and an astronomy library were donated to her club to help them in their astronomical pursuits.
She has been involved in helping create a new astronomy course to be taught at her high school. She is very knowledgeable about astronomy and has been most active in the Delaware Astronomical Society in introducing amateur astronomy concepts to the public