Presentation #231.09 in the session Education and Public Engagement.
We have very recently renovated the Anderson Observatory at Virginia Tech. The observatory now houses a 0.5m CDK PlaneWave optical telescope. During the Spring 2023 semester the instrument has been used by physics and engineering undergraduate majors in the Observational Astrophysics course. Images and other results obtained by the students will be presented. Plans for the future use of this instrument include undergraduate research projects and public open houses. In addition, open houses will feature a Dobsonian instrument for eyepiece viewing and one of our cellphone-operated smart telescopes (the eVscope or Stellina), which enable visitors to take away breathtaking images on their cellphones. Long-term plans for the 0.5m telescope include remote operation and triggered observations of astrophysical transients, including potential optical transients from compact object mergers triggered by LIGO/Virgo, and supernovae.