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Cub Scout Star Party


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#1 vomit

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 02:38 PM

Mods....feel free to move if you see fit.  Not sure if it belongs here or not.  here goes:

 

I am planning on hosting a mini-star party/telescope viewing for my 3rd graders Cub Scout Pack.

 

I am looking for ideas.  Here's what I got so far:

 

I am shooting for the last week of October before the real cold of Upper Michigan sets in.

 

a) A small powerpoint presentation introducing some astronomical concepts/ideas, i.e. The solar System, Galactic distances, different scopes,etc.  Followed by a Q/A session with "right" answers getting a piece of candy (at the end ALL kids will get something).

 

B) Showing a planisphere and how it works.

 

c) Will have two small scopes set up in the house (a 60mm Meade refractor and my Coronado Scope).  With an introduction and what the different parts are called.

 

d) Followed by a viewing with my LX200 10".  Hopefully at least the Moon and Alberio.  Maybe some binocular time as well.  Depending on cloud cover....

 

e) Hot chocolate, questions and exit.

 

But, and the big IF what to do if it's cloudy out?  Or rainy?  Should I have my scope set up in the garage pointing towards a streetlight???  This has me stumped.

 

I am looking for help/suggestions.

 

Thanks in advance.


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#2 MistrBadgr

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 04:22 PM

This may not be a big, high foluting star party, but your event is about as important as any get.  I think either here or in the open chat section would both be appropriate places.

 

I think what you have described is a pretty good program, depending a bit on how many kids you have show up.  You might have another object or two lurking in the background in different parts of the sky, in case the objects you originally want are not visible (clouds).  Having a street light available if there is complete cloud cover sounds like a good backup plan.

 

If there is a big rain storm or some other such calamity, promise them the Moon on another night!

 

Bill Steen


Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#3 Mark Sibole

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 09:50 PM

Ive done several of these for our local cub scouts.

The kids will have a blast.

I did mine in the spring whjile Orion was visable.I had the scopes set up on the inside of the church and explained the differences from a refracter to a SCT to a SN.

Explained how each works and why some prefer one over the other.From there we dod a q and session ans all were able to look close at them and touch them..After that we took a 10 minute break while I set up the LXD 75 mount with an ES 102 mm refractor for viewing.

While it was cooling down we went over some of the brighter constellations visable from the city.

Then went over what you will see in dark skies.(yes we are in very dark skies up here.)

We went over a few of the major planets they could see naked eye and had them name all 9 of them (yes i consider pluto to be still a planet.

I took 3 or 4 out to the telescope for some viewingso not a whole bunch of kids would freeze on me.My wife helped me on the inside by having the kids pick a constellation of their choice and looking at it on a star chart.Then we gave them paper plates I believe and had them draw the constellation to the best of their ability and using a pencil and a piece of foam punch holes where the bright stars were.When they were all done at the end of the night we dimmed the lights and held a flashlight behund the plates and had the pinlight show up on the ceiling.It looked like the constellations on the church ceiling.They were impressed you could do that..Also i recommend when outside have a good bright green lazer pointer to actually point at the things of interest and when they are looking through the scope you could lazer out the spot they were looking at.The Kids had a blast and wanted me to do a few more of these events for them. In the end all of the kids got their astronomy merit badges.Scott Roberts loaned me a few things for the event and gave the kids all a moon map to take home with them so Scot and Russ Tanton both were awarded their merit badges from troup 629 in kalkaska..

My advise is be patient with them as they can get figity fast while waiting on their turn and will have a lot of questions at the scope and ask what this is and that is.Also make sure you ask them what they saw .some of my kids tried to fake it and were embarassed to say they coudnt see anything.I asked why they said it was all black no stars.It sems you cant take for granted everyone knows how to position them selves ofer an eyepiece to see something so make sure they all know how to do it. If you need any help or more suggestions feel free to ask.

Sorry is any typos on this.Im half alseep pain pills kicked in but im very figity tonight myself and cant sleep.

Best of luck! Im praying for clear skies for you and most of all I hope you all have as much fun as we did..

Meade may have some of the moon maps they may be willing to donate to you.If not Ill chgeck my closet and see if i have any left.If I do ill drop you an e mail and get your address and i can mail them to you.

 

Regards

 

Mark


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Mark Sibole
MTSO Observatory
Fife Lake, Mi.

http://astronomy.qteaser.com

#4 Mark Sibole

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 09:53 PM

PS if possible pre select targets.Hopefully the rock will be there nice and bright.Show them 1 planet  an open cluster a globular cluster and a bright nebula if you can. On my website there are tons of images of all of the different objects ive imaged over the years and please feel free to use any info and images I have on my website.Its nice to let the kids see how it looks in a telescope then show them how it looks in a camera under long exposure.


Mark Sibole
MTSO Observatory
Fife Lake, Mi.

http://astronomy.qteaser.com

#5 Mark Sibole

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 09:54 PM

Dont forget the galaxys too   lol


Mark Sibole
MTSO Observatory
Fife Lake, Mi.

http://astronomy.qteaser.com

#6 vomit

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Posted 02 October 2014 - 10:29 AM

Thanks for all the tips.  I am just hoping for clear skies....which is a sketchy proposition here in the UP.  I usually store my scope at the in-laws (darker skies) but will have it waiting in the garage.  Any more tips are surely appreciated.  I will keep you all posted as this gets closer.

 

Any links to sites that have a printable lunar map??



#7 vomit

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Posted 02 October 2014 - 10:37 AM

 

Meade may have some of the moon maps they may be willing to donate to you.If not Ill chgeck my closet and see if i have any left.If I do ill drop you an e mail and get your address and i can mail them to you.

 

Regards

 

Mark

 

Thank you sir....and all of you!  I knew I would get some great help here.  Keep the ideas/tips coming.



#8 Mark Sibole

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Posted 16 October 2014 - 12:50 PM

Just a follow up.

How did the stay party go for you???


Mark Sibole
MTSO Observatory
Fife Lake, Mi.

http://astronomy.qteaser.com

#9 vomit

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 03:08 PM



Just a follow up.

How did the stay party go for you???

It went better than expected.

 

Kids showed up....and a few sets of parents while it was cloudy out.  We did the Powerpoint show on the TV; did a small quiz....correct answers got a piece of candy (and when the questions were over, all the kids got to grab a piece).

 

Checked the weather out, and it was clear.

 

We hustled the boys outside, where two of them got to use the binoculars, and one checked out the moon thru the scope.  Unfortunately, I was worried about the weather, so I did not do a full computer align....fearing the clouds would roll back in.  So they all got a chance to look at the Moon.....and Mars.  I had quite a few parents say "I know what you're gonna want for Christmas".

 

The viewing was followed by some constellation & star identification.  After that we had hot chocolate, showed them how to use a planisphere, and had a "raffle" for two small prizes, a beginner's astronomy book, and a laminated star chart.

 

After that it was dismissal time, and a few well-earned adult beverages.

 

So all in all, save the balky computer fiasco, it went well.  I heard back from 3 sets of parents saying how much the boys liked it.  Also, I had two parents ask for an "adult" star party....LOL.   I think that would be OK, as well. 

 

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#10 MistrBadgr

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 04:38 PM

Thanks for the update!  Sounds like it was a lot of fun, as I had fun reading about it.

 

Bill Steen


Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#11 vomit

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Posted 06 November 2014 - 04:23 PM

Thanks for the update!  Sounds like it was a lot of fun, as I had fun reading about it.

 

Bill Steen

Thank you!  

 

I am thinking of doing another one in the spring.






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