Alison Flegel’s art students at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School had a special art show last week at the Green Bank Observatory. The students created drawings, collages and 3D models of the Green Bank Telescope to show their support of the GBO. B. Nottingham photos

Brandon Nottingham
Staff Writer

The Green Bank Observatory hosted a special art show last Friday, featuring the work of teacher Alison Flegel’s Green Bank Elementary-Middle School art class.

Flegel challenged the students to build 3D models and draw or paint models of the Green Bank Telescope.

“I just feel like the GBO needs some support right now,” Flegel said. “The GBO is very important to our community, and I don’t want to see anything happen to it, it would be a devastating blow to the people who work there, as well as the entirety of the Pocahontas County community. So I got the students inspired to make art of the GBT to kind of get them into learning more about it. It was an amazing project, and I feel like all of the students really enjoyed it.”

And they did enjoy it.

Jesse Johnston built the biggest of the 3D models.

STUDENTS’ Drawings and 3D models on display at the Green Bank Observatory Science Center.

“It was really fun,” Johnston said. “I found it not only to be an interesting thing to build, but it was also educational. And it was a lot of fun building this giant. It took me one week and three days, and I used popsicle sticks, cardboard, cotton balls, and a whole lot of hot glue.

“I really enjoy art, and I would love to do more stuff like this in the future.”

Some students who drew the telescope, such as Makayla Ervine, also enjoyed the project.

“It was a lot of fun,” Ervine said. “Not everyone has something as cool as the Green Bank Observatory right in their back yard, and I love being able to spread that joy through my drawings. The entire thing was done freehand, and I hope we can continue with this project.”

Once the students finished their projects, the GBO got wind of their accomplishments and was eager to support the students and their work.

The GBO partnered with the school to put on its very first Art Show.

GBO Public Outreach Manager Sherry McCarty worked with Flegel to display the students art in the GBO Science Center.

“It was amazing to see how passionate the kids were,” McCarty said. “They are truly a blessing in disguise. The entire team here at the GBO was flattered to see how much the students of GBEMS care about the GBO. We plan to keep the displays up for the next few weeks. We want to continue our partnership with the students and staff of GBEMS. We are currently discussing getting the band to come and play here in the future.”

Once the displays were in place, the students and staff were treated to ice cream and a chance to explore the Science Center.