Finlay MacDonald williston scholars

Finlay MacDonald

Constructing a Dobsonian Telescope

The Scholar: Finlay MacDonald

The Project: Building a Dobsonian Telescope

The Essential Question: “My project consisted of two main parts: researching telescopes, and building a telescope. When I first decided I wanted to build a telescope, I thought it would be super easy. I had no idea how meticulous a process it would be and I had no idea how many errors I would make in the process of constructing it. What was an even larger task was actually researching and learning about all the different types of telescopes. I know for a fact, that when most people think of telescopes, they think of just something used to magnify the sky; I don’t think anyone actually thinks about how it works; the entire process behind the light from a distant star being reflected or refracted by a lens or mirror which magnifies the image you see in your eye. While the concepts behind telescopes and actual construction seem really complicated, most telescopes are actually fairly simple.”

What I Want People to Take Away from my Project: “Whenever you look through a telescope, don’t just stare through the eyepiece at a magnified image, really try to understand why and how the telescope works the way it does. Try and awaken your inner curiosity because you never know what you might learn.”