Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday Morning Constellation Connection Program

I had a fun program today with 80 students and three teachers. This is the first time I have done a program like this for such a large group but the students were involved and focused along with excellent preparation by the lead teacher . They were surprised as to how much is involved with seeing and understanding the patterns of stars that grace our skies. We covered Earth's revolution, rotation, day/night, tilt/season change, our changing horizonal view. They made Polar Clocks and Star Wheels and practiced their usage. We modeled the Zodiac and the stations of the Sun and ended with a really good question and answer session covering gravity, the multi - universe, space time, super nova, cosmic origins. It is fun to see what simple star patterns can do!


Johany said...

I could tell by their faces they were all over it!!! Future astronomers, here we come!

Sidewalk Universe said...

Out of the 80+ I would say that 20 were excited about getting out under the sky and really learning this thing.

But any program I get to do is a good program!

I asked the group what their interest level was concerning our topic: most had no interest, sure enough the very interested 20 raised their hands that they wanted to understand this constellation thing - so they were my target group! These guys were taking it in big time.

I always interview my group at the start as it tends to disarm any detractors and lets them know "ok just go with the flow for this time".

What really got me was the quality of questions during the question answer time.

The lead teacher sent me a note later in the day and was very pleased so if she is happy I am happy!

When are you going to start your constellation outreaches??????????

Johany said...

Ah Sug, I don't think I'm ready yet to do any constellation outreaches. I need to learn a whole lot more. One day I want to be as confident as you and Paulie when doing outreaching. I want to make sure that when someone asks me a question about some constellation I will have the perfect answer for them.

But no worries. I will get there one day! And I bet those 20 kids who showed an interest in what you were teaching them went home with a huge smile on their faces!!! Thanks to you!

Sidewalk Universe said...

Hey Johany - sorry! Sometimes my enthusiasm gets away from me.....

Paulie said...

Johany, trust me, just go out and do it. You don't need the "perfect" answer. See SUG's New Outreach Aids post. Have a few good reference materials on hand, and your enthusiasm will rub off. I got my start hanging around the observatory at Valparaiso University with my telescopes on their open house nights. If something like that is an option for you, try that first, but I think you would make a fine ambassador for the universe.