(photo credit: museum staff)
Astronomy clubs across the country have been enjoying their summers by bringing their love of astronomy to the public, particularly in summer camps for kids. With over 6,000 events and more than half a million people reached, Night Sky Network clubs are doing their part to get the word out about how mch fun astronomy can be. Hear about some of the programs our members are involved in and the creative ways they are teaching young people about astronomy.
The River Bend Astronomy Club in Highland, IL has been keeping busy this summer. For the first of four presentations to the Highland Summer Playground Program, Terry Menz tells us: "The children learned the different ways that other planets have been discovered such as the wobble and the transit methods. We discussed why we put telescopes in space, and why we have different types of telescopes on Earth and in space, such as X-ray, infrared, and radio."
Joe Castor of the Kansas Astronomical Observers tells us about how to deal with an unruly group of pre teens during their presentation at a Youth Science Week in El Dorado, Missouri: "It was a very inquisitive, fun age group because of all their misinformation, like thinking all of the stars they see are in another galaxy. It was also fun to send the kid who interrupted the most on a 2 mile hike to the far away quasar (we didn't really make him go, but he got the idea). "
From the Westminster Astronomical Society, Inc. in Maryland, we hear that Skip Bird is having a grand time at the local Cub Scout day camp. "The theme was Land of the Pharaohs. So as the Pharaohs High Priest and Astronomer (in full costume) I had to explain why the perfect Sun God Ra had freckles (Sunspots, which we got to see through my telescope). I showed them how I can make the moon and sun line up to cause an eclipse (of course with the Pharaoh's permission.) I also talked about how the Egyptians used the stars to align the pyramids and the precession of the poles. Even had a chance to squeeze in how to find our pole star and the directions during the day or night."
These astronomy clubs are clearly putting on great shows and even getting some astronomy across in the process. Fun summer events are adding up to some serious astronomy and making a deep impact on communities across the country. To find an astronomy club near you, click here.