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This child is checking the size and distance of our planetary neighbors
(credit: Linda Prince)
Amateur Observers' Society of NY

Joan Chamberlin of the Astronomical Society of Northern New England in Maine, stated, "It was a hot summer day; a possible hard time for a bunch of eight year old kids to pay attention. I also knew that they were going to be fascinated by my topic SPACE! I was right. They had a gazillion questions and were really interested in my responses and in telling me their views on how the universe works. We held different planets up to the sun banner and counting how many Jupiters it took to span the diameter and how many Earths to span Jupiter, and how many Earths did that make to span the Sun. I discovered most of them really like math and told them to take all the math courses they could in school so that when they graduate, they could go into a science career if they wanted to. We talked about black holes, supernovae, finding planets around other stars, and why Pluto is a Plutoid instead of a planet. I never once had to ask them to pay attention or be polite. Astronomy had them captivated!"

The Greensboro Astronomy Club of North Carolina, received the first of their ToolKits. ToolKits contain DVD's, handouts, activities and lots more to engage the public with astronomical ideas and concepts. Upon receiving the ToolKit, entitled Shadows and Silhouettes, Dennis Hands commented, "We presented four activities and one slide show, then facilitated a club discussion about what we want to do with this resource and how we're going to do it. One comment from a long-time club member following the presentation was that 'this was one of the best programs I've ever seen at our club.'"

Barbara Wilson of the Lima Astronomical Society in Ohio commented, "We had several autistic/ADD/developmentally disabled children this evening. Just to have them interact and speak was an achievement for them. One non-verbal autistic 9-year old boy looking at Jupiter in a 14-inch telescope was asked, "How many moons do you see?" and he answered, "One, two, three, five." A major personal accomplishment for him! (The Wow-factor was on a different level for him, and a most rewarding one for us.)"

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