Drawing Kids into Black Holes
It's amazing how long a Black Hole can keep kids entertained. The Darien O'Brien Astronomy Club in Colorado found out how fascinated they were at Astronomy Day.
(Credit: Darien O'Brien)

Eileen Grzybowski of the Oklahoma Norman North Astronomy Club says, "Black holes bring out the questions in the kids in such a way as to fire their imaginations!" It is true. Hear about some of the ways that black holes have been amazing kids across the country, thanks to astronomy clubs' outreach.

Skip Bird of the Westminster Astronomical Society, Inc. in Maryland found a way to keep warm with this indoor activity: "Since it was cold we took a trip to a black hole in 'How to Survive a Black Hole'. We had fun warping the fabric of space and time with the NSN black hole program. We taped 4-5 magnets under a large cardboard sheet and rolled metal ball bearings to try and find them. Each kid plotted the path of the space ship (using coordinates) and where they thought the black holes were."

At the Hawaiian Astronomical Society, John Gallagher reports: "The Black Hole Demo Kit with the board, marbles and magnets was itself like a magnet for the children who had more fun than a barrel of monkeys. As reported last year, there was a continuous line waiting to try their luck. This is a Win Win situation. If you can't find a Black Hole, your spacecraft made a safe journey and if you found a Black Hole - well that was the purpose! "

In Ohio, Tammy Plotner of the Warren Rupp Observatory got sucked into a good time working with the Boy Scouts. She tells us: "The Black Hole Survival Kit was a complete and total hit with these teens. Such a small group meant far more interaction and we were able to use all the hands-on equipment provided with this kit. They can't wait until next year so they can learn more! Good job, NSN... When you can grab and hold the attention of teenage boys and make them want more? Something is definitely very right!"

If you would like to feel the pull of some exciting astronomy, just find your local astronomy club for more information. Click here to find a club in your area.