The practical knowledge aspects of this program that I hope to impart include

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This outline describes a program I have put together for introducing children to the hobby and science of Astronomy. Generally, for small groups of 15-25 children, it takes three hours to complete the entire program, half indoors and half outdoors under the stars. Larger groups usually work better with a split program where night portion of the program can be scheduled on different night than in-class program, or with several hours break between indoor/outdoor.
Ed Zarenski - Bus - Home
The practical knowledge aspects of this program that I hope to impart include:

An introduction to some of the shapes of the constellations in our nighttime sky;

How to find our way around the sky with maps and charts using math and geometry;

A sense of knowing direction by looking up at the night sky;

An understanding of the size and distance of the objects in our Solar System;

A grasp of the immense scale of the galaxy;

An introduction to measurements used for the distances to stars and other astronomical objects;

The proper use of optical instruments, and finally,

The thrill of actually seeing planets and other celestial objects in the telescope.
The indoor portion of the program includes:

Introduction to types of Celestial Objects;

Introduction to Astronomical Charts including Milky Way galaxy, Constellations and the Moon;

Use of star guidebooks, star maps and the planisphere;

Names of some constellations, their shapes and how to recognize them;

Names of some stars and where to find them;

What causes stars to be different colors?

Discussion of Astronomical distances;

A Time Line relating celestial objects to age of our Solar System and Life on planet Earth;

Group participation acting out a Scale model of the Solar System;

How to focus and use binoculars including proper care and cleaning, and

A brief slide presentation of constellations, planets, moon and meteors.

Information is tailored to age group. I’ll try not to go overboard for a group of third graders.
The outdoors portion of the program includes:

Hands on use of binoculars and telescopes to observe celestial objects,

Unaided eye viewing of the constellations that we discussed earlier,

Observing star color, star clusters, nebula, double stars and other galaxies.

Using star pointers for finding north and south,

Optical viewing varies with season and conditions, but every month of the year offers

Something new and exciting to every audience.
Materials that I use for the presentation include:

Prepared Informational handout for teachers,

Astronomy related books, charts, maps and planisphere,

Large easel presentation size poster boards of Solar system,

Galaxies, Constellations, Comets, Eclipses

Slide projector and 4' x 4' projection screen,

Rubber balls of various sizes ranging from a pea to 24", and

Several pairs of binoculars and several telescopes and tripods.

I own and provide the above materials and equipment.
What I need you to provide for this to be a successful presentation:

It takes at least 16 children to complete the scale model of the Solar System.

I need a room at least 50 feet long to set up the scale model; a hallway is fine.

It is preferred to have several adults on hand to assist, however it is not absolutely necessary.

The outdoors portion requires dark space, little, or better yet, no lights.

The program is enjoyed by adults as well as by children. A combined audience is welcome.

This introduces adults to an activity that they can share with their children.

Class sizes of 50 students max. appropriate for 5th grade level, program more in depth.

Group size of 100 in Auditorium setting OK for younger groups, not as in depth.

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