By Jacob Wycoff

WESTFIELD (CBS) – There is no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic has changed our lives, particularly those of children. The challenges, however, have not kept one middle schooler from her passion for astronomy.

After her local astronomy club closed, Westfield 7th grader Kaitlynn Goulette took matters into her own hands. She started the Starry Scoop, a newsletter about space. Now, that newsletter is celebrating its one-year anniversary.

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Kaitlynn is a fountain of knowledge and could go on for hours about space. She has traveled to places like Tennessee for the Great America Solar Eclipse of 2017. Her favorite celestial sight is the Andromeda Galaxy because, “it’s amazing to see through a telescope.”

COVID caused Kaitlynn to rethink and reimagine her passion for the stars. In March 2020, she launched her new Starry Scoop newsletter. So far she has produced 13 editions – one each month over the last year, plus a special issue on Comet NEOWISE.

Each of her monthly editions features upcoming events in the night sky. From a Christmas conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter to multiple meteor showers, Kaitlynn has covered it all.

She loves how there is always something new to look at and there are always new discoveries.

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“Every night the sky is changing,” she explained. “Every second it’s changing.”

Kaitlynn’s love for astronomy started at a very young age. Her parents took her to the Springfield Museum Planetarium where she was able to enjoy shows about the planets. She has even had a couple chats with astronaut Kady Coleman, someone that Kaitlynn really sees as a role model.

“I’ve met her a few times and I definitely look up to her,” Kaitlynn shared. “I would love to be an astronaut. She followed a path that I’d hope to follow one day. And that really inspires me.”

Kaitlynn hopes her passion for space spreads to others. “It’s never too late to start looking up. We are all underneath the same sky, and it’s something we all share.”

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To sign up for Kaitlynn’s Starry Scoop newsletter, you can email starryscoop@gmail.com or find them on Facebook.

Jacob Wycoff