Star Gazing Night inspired by ‘Star Wars’


St. Mary’s School students Zophia and Bobby Kotala practice in costume for the Dec. 4 Star Gazing Night inspired by Star Wars. Zenaida Gonzalez Kotala

St. Mary’s School in Rockledge will host a Star Gazing Night inspired by Star Wars from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4 in hopes of encouraging the next generation of scientists — our children — to reach for their dreams. The Catholic school serves families in Viera and Suntree.

The free event will give attendees an opportunity to view the night sky through telescopes courtesy of UCF’s Planetary Sciences Group and the Astronomy Society at UCF. Astrophysics professors and students will be setting up telescopes for viewing and helping people identify what they are seeing in the night sky.

There will also be several science exhibits created by St. Mary’s middle school students that explore “what it would take to colonize other planets” and the real science behind “the force in the galaxy.” 

A play dough-making station will be open for children ages 5 to 8, where they can mix non-toxic ingredients to create sparkling galactic dough to take home. There will also be a LEGO station for children in the same age group. 

Middle school science teacher Dianne Alexis has incorporated space into the science curriculum in time to complete the displays that will be showcased at the event.

The school’s music program will be hosting a space-themed bake sale. The teachers and students running the event will be “putting on their nerd” and dressing the part. Attendees are encouraged to wear their favorite movie character costume.

“Today there are scientists around the world working on ways to get us to other planets, creating tractor fields and developing real light sabers, things that once seemed only possible in the movies,” school principal Sandra Basinger said. “But science is getting there. We want our students and all children to see how much fun science can be, to see the amazing things you can do in these fields and to get excited about potentially pursuing these fields. That’s what this night is all about.”

There is no cost to attend. Donations are welcome. Two Star Wars-themed gift baskets will also be raffled off. 

The school is at 1152 Seminole Drive in Rockledge. For more information, call 321-636-4208 or go to

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