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Families Enjoy Night Sky at Galilean Nights

posted Oct 29, 2009, 5:58 AM by Jason Bilotta   [ updated Oct 29, 2009, 12:32 PM ]

5 year old Destiny looks on at Jupiter through a large telescope. Neil Armstrong Elementary School, Port Charlotte FL, Oct 23rd 

About 70 Families were treated to a host of activities, all centered on celebrating the discoveries of Galileo 400 years ago this Oct 23rd.  With the exception of several great power point presentations on Jupiter and other celestial bodies, all activities were hands on- just the way we like them!

Families were given the chance to win a drawing for a free Galileoscope  (provided by Skeptikids of SW Florida) by completing several "stations" such as the Jupiter Presentation, several hands on challenges like guessing the scale of the solar system, coloring pages for the younger kids, and finally, making an official observation of Jupiter and the Moon through a small 20mm telescope, sketching and recording the data, just like Galileo! 

Finally, everyone was treated to a nice view of Jupiter, the Moon and several Deep Sky Objects, thanks to the SW Florida Astronomical Society! Some other treats included a group presentation of the constellations and all the wonderful myths and stories that they tell, and a "walking tour of the solar system" - a 10 football field long hike around the school property, where kids and adults got to place all the planets at scale distance and size from each other!

The event was a great success!  Many kids - and adults - expressed their thanks for being exposed to the wonders of the night sky!  A winner was drawn for the Galileoscope and the night came to an end, but the whole event was best described by 5 year old Destiny: 

"This is so much fun I could do this Every Day!"

Special thanks to the Punta Gorda Middle School students, the SWF Astronomical Society, the Bishop Planetarium, Skeptikids, and the teacher and parent volunteers that made the evening such a success!