BLE Day Campers look to the stars

Bass Lake Elementary Day Campers explore the wonders of space from inside Professor Clem Galileo’s innovative Star Box (not pictured, but similar in design, minus the locks and the air vents).  (BLE file photo)


By Jillian Fontaine|Beacon upper middle school intern

They may only come out at night but for these day campers, the stars shine all day.

Bass Lake Elementary’s Day Campers have a rare chance to view the night sky during pre-night hours thanks to a local inventor’s gadget.

It’s called a Star Box and it is the brainchild of Dr. Clem Galileo, Bass Lake University Professor of Space and Sky Science.

According to Prof. Galileo, the Star Box allows sky-curious humans to imagine life among the planets.

“What you do, see, is you climb inside the Star Box and wait 45 minutes until your eyes adjust and then you can see what may or may not be stars and space stuff,” Galileo said. “But just between you and me, stars are not visible during the daylight hours of the day. Or is it just between you and I? Hell, I can’t remember. I’m a space scientist, not an English teacher.”

Sounds cool. But does it work?

To find out, we coaxed third-year fourth-grader Codie Jamesgang into the box with the promise of a grape popsicle.

Unfortunately, the popsicle melted before Jamesgang, who will be 13 on his next birthday, had a chance to remove it from its wrapper.

Also unfortunate was the fact that Jamesgang nearly died of heat stroke inside the airtight aluminum star box.

“There are kinks to work out,” Prof. Galileo admitted. “It works better if it’s raining. But I bet he saw something before he passed out.”

Jamesgang is currently in guarded condition at Regional Corporate Hospital. He is expected to make a partial recovery.


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