St. Luke Library

Read. Think. Learn. Follow your Curiosity.

A Letter from Mrs. Burns, 12 May 2020

Dear St. Luke Students, Families and PTO,

Thank you SO much for all the kind gestures of appreciation last week! Thank you to to all the amazing families and students who contributed their artwork, time and smiles to create such a wonderful, kind, and loving message for the faculty and staff at St. Luke. The photos and video brought much joy, seeing your smiling faces. Many memories of each of you came to mind from our shared years in library class. Thank you, also for the Yeti water bottle and donut holes.

This week, we are reading, thinking and learning about Astronomy and Space. The Little Prince, by Antoine de St. Exupery is the most translated book, after the Bible. We are reading nonfiction, true stories. You'll learn about an 11 year old English girl, Venetia Burney, who named the planet Pluto in 1930. Pluto was reclassified as a dwarf planet in 2006. We'll read about Katherine Johnson, a Mathematician who helped calculate paths to space for over three decades with the U.S. Space program. Katherine Johnson was brave, determined, intelligent, hard-working, persistent and she helped the Apollo 11 Astronauts land on the moon in July 1969. Katherine Johnson was a hero; she was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015. She passed away in February 2020 at age 101. We'll read about the extraordinary lives of four African American women--Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson, Dorothy Vaughan and Christine Darden, who were very good at math and helped NASA put the first men in space in Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race. "The women participated in some of NASA's greatest successes, like providing the calculations for America's first journeys into space. And they did so during a time when being black and a woman limited what they could do. But they worked hard. They persisted. And they used their genius minds to change the world."

We'll read about astronaut Neil Armstrong, a Purdue University graduate and the first man to walk on the moon. Neil Armstrong was a humble man, always giving credit to each person who played a part in the space program. "A plaque the astronauts left behind on the moon said in part, 'We came in peace for all mankind.' Such actions are an example of those qualities we call character and integrity." I am Neil Armstrong is an interesting book, read by the author.

Do you know that astronaut, Buzz Aldrin received his nickname when his little sister couldn't say brother and called him buzzer, which was shortened to Buzz? Purdue University in W. Lafayette, Indiana is often called, the "Cradle of Astronauts". Why? "Nearly a third of all U.S. space flights have included a Purdue graduate, and 10 missions have included multiple Purdue graduates. Including Gus Grissom, Neil Armstrong and David Wolf." Be sure to watch the Apollo 11: Countdown to Launch via Google Earth --link below.

The Apollo 11 astronauts had to quarantine for 21 days following their mission.

The intersection of our faith and science is interesting. Think about how the Wise men followed the star when Jesus was born. "Celestial stars move across the sky from East to West and it never changes. The star that the Magi followed moved North across the night sky." 3rd, 4th and 5th graders, remember how faithful Harriet Tubman followed the North star as she traveled the Underground Railroad over and over again to help slaves escape from slavery? "The North Star is the brightest star in the constellation Ursa Minor. It is almost straight above Earth's north pole. Because of this, when it is seen from Earth, it looks like it always stays in the same place in the sky. Many years ago, sailors in the northern hemisphere used Polaris to help them figure out where they were on the ocean and what way they were moving."

Do you know the Pope has an astronomer? Brother Guy Consolmagno. S.J., the Vatican's Chief Astronomer states, "Religion gives me the reason to do the science." "If we're part of the human race, we are part of the race that went to the moon. We are part of the species that looked at the stars and wondered what are those things. . .if you believe in a universe that God so loved that he sent his only son, then not only are you going to want to study the universe because it's cool, IT'S AN ACT OF WORSHIP. It's an act of getting closer to the Creator." In 1582, Pope Gregory hired astronomers to create a new calendar, now called the Gregorian Calendar. Pope Leo built the Vatican Observatory in 1891 to show the church promotes good science. The Vatican also built telescopes at the Pope's summer residence, Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo in the 1930s and now have a Vatican Observatory in Arizona.

Book news: note there's a sequel, The One and Only Bob to the first book, The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate. You might like to read Grace Lin's newest book, Mulan: Beyond the Sword . Ivan and Mulan movies will be released this summer. I received a small, magnetic poetry kit for the library from illustrator, Melissa Sweet today to celebrate her new book, Alphamaniacs: Builders of 26 Wonders of the World, with writer Paul Fleischman. The newest book reminds me a bit of Sweet's book we have read, The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus, by Jen Bryant.

Link below for DANIEL RADCLIFFE (aka: Harry Potter) reading chapter one, "The Boy Who Lived" from Harry Potter. Look for the Harry Potter section of the newsletter.

Please plan to return your library books during May 26-27. More details coming soon.

So much to learn! I hope this newsletter sparks your curiosity to learn about our faith, astronomy, the stars and constellations, space, math, astronauts and important scientists who have made a difference in our world. Wishing you a wonderful week. : )

~Mrs. Burns


The Pope and the Vatican have an Astronomer!

"The Vatican Observatory is one of the oldest astronomical research institutions in the world. Though we can trace our roots back to the reform of the calendar by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582, the modern version of the Observatory was established by Pope Leo XIII in 1891 “so that everyone might see clearly that the Church and her Pastors are not opposed to true and solid science, whether human or divine, but that they embrace it, encourage it, and promote it with the fullest possible devotion.

Our headquarters are located at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, outside Rome. We also have a dependent research center, the Vatican Observatory Research Group, is hosted by Steward Observatory at the University of Arizona, Tucson, USA. This group operates the 1.8m Alice P. Lennon Telescope with its Thomas J. Bannan Astrophysics Facility, known together as the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope (VATT), located at the Mount Graham International Observatory (MGIO )in southeastern Arizona.

Our international staff include a dozen research astronomers (mostly Jesuit priests, but also including two Jesuit brothers and one diocesan priest) plus a number of support staff, emeritus staff, and adjunct scholars. We come from many different nations and cultures, representing nearly every continent."

Vatican Observatory Foundation

Leonardo da Vinci, 1452-1519

Galileo Galilei, 1564-1642. Italian Astronomer, Mathematician, Physicist, Philosopher and Professor.

"Father of Modern Science; Galileo was an Italian scientist and scholar, who helped open the eyes of the world to a new way of thinking about the workings of our solar system--Galileo was an astronomer, mathematician, physicist, philosopher and professor. In a private letter of Jan 20, 1610, Galileo writes: “I am infinitely grateful to God who has deigned to choose me alone to be the first to observe such marvelous things which have lain hidden for all ages past.” Galileo had two daughters, and both became religious sisters."

"Isaac Newton is considered one of the most important scientists in history. Even Albert Einstein said that Isaac Newton was the smartest person that ever lived. During his lifetime Newton developed the theory of gravity, the laws of motion (which became the basis for physics), a new type of mathematics called calculus, and made breakthroughs in the area of optics such as the reflecting telescope"

The Starry Night, by Vincent Van Gogh, 1853-1890. MOMA in NYC.

Pluto named by 11 year old girl, Venetia Burney, 1930


"Purdue University is called the 'cradle of astronauts' for good reason. Nearly a third of all U.S. spaceflights have included a Purdue grad, and 10 missions have included multiple Purdue grads." Gus Grissom, Neil Armstrong, David Wolf and more!

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The Apollo 11 Crew: Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin. Neil and Buzz landed on the moon using the ‘Lunar Module’, while Michael guided them from their command base.

"The Apollo 11 crew decided to keep their names off the patch. Collins said, “We wanted to keep our three names off it because we wanted the design to be representative of everyone who had worked toward a lunar landing, and there were thousands who could take a proprietary interest in it, yet who would never see their names woven into the fabric of a patch. Further, we wanted the design to be symbolic rather than explicit. The Apollo 11 patch is still the only patch in NASA’s history to not feature the crew members’ names.The patch can be seen on Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit back on view at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum."

"The Eagle has Landed" Crossword puzzle

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"One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." ~Neil Armstrong

One Small Step, One Giant Leap
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Buzz Aldrin, b. 1930. 90 years old! Astronaut, Explorer, Engineer, Fighter Pilot, Rocket Scientist. Second American man to walk on the moon.

Michael Collins, b. 1930. Astronaut, command module pilow, Director of National Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C..

Sally Ride, First American Woman in Space in 1983. Astronaut and Physicist. 1951-2012

The Hubble Space Telescope

What Is the Hubble Space Telescope?
"The Hubble Space Telescope is a large telescope in space. NASA launched Hubble in 1990. Hubble is as long as a large school bus. It weighs as much as two adult elephants. Hubble travels around Earth at about 5 miles per second. That is as fast as driving a car from the East Coast of the United States to the West Coast in 10 minutes.

Hubble faces toward space. It takes pictures of planets, stars and galaxies. Hubble has seen stars being born. Hubble has seen stars die. It has seen galaxies that are trillions of miles away. Hubble also has seen comet pieces crash into the gases above Jupiter.

Scientists have learned a lot about space from Hubble pictures. The pictures are beautiful to look at too."

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Planets in Order from the Sun

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What is a Black Hole?

"A black hole is a place in space where gravity pulls so much that even light can not get out. The gravity is so strong because matter has been squeezed into a tiny space. This can happen when a star is dying.

Because no light can get out, people can't see black holes. They are invisible. Space telescopes with special tools can help find black holes. The special tools can see how stars that are very close to black holes act differently than other stars."

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Visit Holcomb Observatory and Planetarium at Butler University!

"Holcomb Observatory and Planetarium has been serving Butler University students and Central Indiana for over 60 years. The observatory, one of the largest public observatories in the world, houses a 38-inch Cassegrain reflector in addition to a number of smaller telescopes, along with a fully immersive digital planetarium. It is among the ten largest telescopes East of the Mississippi."

All About Clouds for Kids: Types and Names of Clouds - FreeSchool
How did clouds get their names? - Richard Hamblyn


Mulan will be released as a movie in July 2020!

The One and Only Ivan will be released as a movie in August 2020!

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Youcat for Kids!

Learn more about our Catholic faith. The Cathechism for Children and Parents


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"I am Still Learning." ~Michelangelo

Curious? DK FIndout!

Earth, History, Literature, Animals, Art, Space, Sports, Math and more!

TRAINS book, Written and Illustrated by James, Kindergartener at St. Luke

Are you a word person?

"A curiosity seeker? An explorer? Take a look at these twenty-six extraordinary individuals for whom love of language is an extreme sport.

Step right up and read the genuine stories of writers so intoxicated by the shapes and sound of language that they collected, dissected, and constructed verbal wonders of the most extraordinary kind. Jean-Dominique Bauby wrote his memoirs by blinking his left eyelid, unable to move the rest of his body. Frederic Cassidy was obsessed with the language of place, and after posing hundreds of questions to folks all over the United States, amassed (among other things) 176 words for dust bunnies. Georges Perec wrote a novel without using the letter e (so well that at least one reviewer didn’t notice its absence), then followed with a novella in which e was the only vowel. A love letter to all those who love words, language, writing, writers, and stories, Alphamaniacs is a stunningly illustrated collection of mini-biographies about the most daring and peculiar of writers and their audacious, courageous, temerarious way with words."
Mary Poppins Soundtrack- Let's Go Fly A Kite

"Step in Time" and "Supercalifragilisticexpialicodious"!!! Disney Sing Along. : )

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Marmie (aka actress Laura Dern) in the recent Little Women movie has a daughter who just started #allgooddeeds2020. You can do a good deed and post with the hashtag #allgooddeeds2020 on Instagram. We are connected and you can make a difference! : )

Next week: Summer reading and book recommendations! : )