Learning Center hosting swimming, astronomy party

KINGMAN - Students and hobbyist astronomers will have a chance to look up at the stars tonight during a back-to-school swim and stars party at the downtown Grandview Pool in Kingman.

The Kingman Blended Learning Center, located at 2475 Beverly Avenue in Kingman, is hosting the event. The center serves as a "blended online learning site" that works with the Arizona Virtual Academy and Insight Academy of Arizona to provide tuition-free online public school to students K-12.

They currently have just over 140 students, and are looking to expand to 200 by the end of the year. The center's school year kicked off on Tuesday and they are looking to connect with current and prospective families during the party.

"It's our fifth annual back to school swim party. It's a welcome back for families," said Kathy Roddy, site administrator for the Kingman Blended Learning Center.

Roddy also heads the astronomy club at the school. She works with the National Optical Astronomy Observatory and the University of Arizona to put on different astronomy programs throughout the year, including star viewing parties and building telescopes.

The event tonight will have three 6-inch telescopes for use. Students will learn about light pollution and get a chance to look at the sun during sunset, as well as stars just at dusk.

"There will be a mixture of some amateur and professional astronomers. We have one coming from the University of Arizona, and she'll be pursuing her doctorate this coming fall," said Roddy.

The event is open to the public, including astronomers who don't have a student attending the school. Admission is free.