Since 1999 an astronomical observatory – the Schnörringen Telescope Science Institute (STScI) has existed in Waldbröl-Schnörringen. This observation station was operated by the astrophysicist Dr. Thomas Eversberg and the atmospheric physicist Dr. Klaus Vollmann. Both have been passionate astronomers since their youth and have been working together since 1986.
In summer 2008, they acquired one of the largest astronomical telescopes in Germany from private funds. This instrument was the main telescope of the Ludwig-Maximilian-Universität München on the Wendelstein mountain. In addition, they bought a telescope dome with a diameter of 6 metres from the Geodetic Station in Wetzell and provided a plot of land on which an observatory for the training of junior staff is to be built.
With the idea to inspire young talents for astronomy and implicitly for MINT subjects (Mathematics, Informatics, Natural Sciences, Technology) the two founded the non-profit initiative association Schnörringen Telescope Science Institute (STScI) e. V. and began to raise funds for a training observatory. They were accompanied and supported by the Waldbröler Gewerbe- und Industrievereins (GIV) and its associated companies as well as by the Office for Economic Promotion of the Oberbergischer District. The STScI first constructed a building for the telescope. With the help of a grant from the Rhineland Rural Association the STScI started the construction of a service building and a student laboratory. With a second grant from the Hans Hermann Voss Foundation in 2018, we installed a “School Lab Astronomy” consisting of three identical observation stations. The observatory has received further material and financial support from various companies in the region. The project is therefore regarded as an integral part of the Oberberg educational landscape.