In 1998, a beautiful Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope was donated to AOA by a student’s family. A science teacher at that time, Barb Caseau, determined that this telescope would need to be housed in an observatory to best utilize its learning potential. She was able to secure funds from an environmental science grant donated to AOA by Dr. Mastin. The Mastin Observatory was built with these funds in 2000 and was used for many years by Barb Caseau for her astronomy classes. In 2017, the observatory and telescope needed some repair. A student, with a love for astronomy, asked her family to donate the necessary funds to clean and upgrade the observatory. With the support of teachers and administrators, this student was the driving force behind the improvements and eventual opening of the observatory for monthly outdoor observing sessions.
The year 2020 marks the twentieth anniversary of the construction of the observatory on AOA’s campus. An anniversary celebration is currently being planned for all astronomy enthusiasts and supporters. There are also plans to start an astrophotography club.