Sky's Up July-September 2017 - Page 18

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As the winner of the Astronomical League ’ s 2017 Horkheimer / Smith Youth Service Award ,
Bradley was given the opportunity to speak at the Northeast Astronomy
Forum ( NEAF ) in Suffern , N . Y . in April .
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COURTESY OF Sierra Bradley

Astronomy activist

Science enthusiast finds ideal outlet in outreach

At just 18 years old , Sierra Bradley has already received an impressive astronomy accolade for her work as a volunteer outreach educator . Earlier this year , the Astronomical League named Bradley as the winner of its 2017 Horkheimer / Smith Youth Service Award in recognition of her tireless efforts to bring people into the astronomy fold . Bradley embarked on her outreach path a few years ago through the Roanoke Valley Astronomical Society . The organization ’ s events provided the perfect way to share her longtime love of science with others , and she embraced the opportunities wholeheartedly . Although recognition was never her motivation , her dedication sparked RVAS President Dan Chrisman to nominate Bradley for the esteemed award . “ Sierra Bradley is an excellent role model and exceptionally mature for her age . She is very comfortable during astronomy outreach interacting with those four years old to 84 years old ,” Chrisman said . “ The Roanoke Valley Astronomical Society and the Astronomical League are pleased to have her as a very active member and quite excited as she begins the next phase of her studies .” In addition to a cash prize , the award included an invitation to speak at the renowned Northeast Astronomy Forum in Suffern , N . Y . “ The NEAF conference was an incredible experience , and I hope to go back next year ,” Bradley said . “ It was a great opportunity to see how science is taught through a variety of exhibits and lectures .” In this Rising Star Q & A feature , Bradley discusses her outreach efforts and reflects on the importance of science in her life .
COURTESY OF Sierra Bradley
Sky ’ s Up
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