FWAS Young Astronomers
Girls and Boys, 4th grade and up! We've got a Young Astronomers (YA!) program aimed specifically at teaching amateur astronomy as a hobby to young people!
This is an ongoing program that builds on each previous month's lessons, but you can start at any time (no prior knowledge needed).
This is practical, hands-on astronomy, not theory or boring textbook instruction (although the basics and background knowledge will be taught as well). You'll be learning how to be an amateur astronomer "in the field", with real, high-quality telescopes (provided by FWAS members for the purpose of instruction).
Each monthly one-hour meeting is part indoor learning, part outdoor instruction at the scopes to build on what was learned indoors and in previous months. You may even have things you learn that you will want to try out in between the meetings to try to earn one of the many YA! activity or observational achievement badges available! These can be done on your own or with the assistance of a parent or guardian. We'll focus on how to earn a specific badge in each one of our meetings throughout the year, so you will know how to do a particular activity in order to earn it. Some badges are relatively easy to earn, some will take some time and patience (and some are once in a lifetime opportunities). All while learning sound, practical scientific principles and having fun doing it!
You'll discover how to use a telescope and navigate your way around the night sky, how to view planets, comets, the moon, galaxies, nebulas, and everything else our scopes can see. Plus you'll learn how to record your observations so you can earn achievement badges and get recognized by the club at large for your accomplishments, and in a few sessions we'll even learn how to BUILD a real, working telescope that the YA! members, will get to use during their meetings and at public star parties that the main club hosts throughout the year. All while working toward learning the hobby of Amateur Astronomy.
Paid club membership is not required, however, a Family membership ($40/year for the entire household) or the individual, Student membership ($20/year - *not recommended for the younger children) gets YA! members our exclusive FWAS Young Astronomer Kit (see this LINK for images of the kit). The kit includes an exclusively designed YA! t-shirt, a special red 'night vision' flashlight, an 11" planisphere finder chart, a FWAS YA! membership ID badge and lanyard (used to pin your achievement badges onto) and our YA! handbook and study guide to augment what is learned in the meetings. This handbook is full of informative descriptions, finder charts, sky event calendars, visual aids, and observing forms, all aimed at the novice and younger age range astronomer. All of this is used in order to help record and instruct the YA! member's progress and accomplishments in the indoor sessions and at the telescope!
Meetings are held in Keller (North Tarrant County) on the 3rd Saturday of every month.
Meeting times change due to the sunset times for the specific time of the year. These are usually going to be sometime between 6pm to 8pm (see our calendar for each month's specific meeting time). This is so we have a relatively dark sky at the end of each meeting to make the telescope viewing sessions more practical.
See our website (www.fortworthastro.org) for details.
Come see the universe with your own eyes!