Graduate student Robin Wing made the digital slide presentation Exploring the Universe with Telescopes before 14 visitors from the Montessori Casa group, including 8 children (ages 3—6) and 6 adults at the Cronyn Observatory for Exploring the Stars, Thursday, March 1st, 6:30 p.m. Robin followed this with the activity Telescope Kits in which the children assembled their own telescopes from kits.
Bringing the group upstairs into the dome Robin explained how the big 25.4cm refractor worked. He then invited the children outside on the observatory’s roof patio to try the newly assemble cardboard telescopes on distant objects. RASC London Centre member Bob Duff explained how a reflector telescope worked and invited the visitors to view the weathervane on the Engineering building through the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian, using the 17mm Nagler eyepiece (67X).
Cloudy damp weather rule out opening the dome but the parents took the opportunity to photograph the children sitting on the observation ladder in front of the focuser and diagonal mirror of the big refractor. Robin had the computer in the dome turned on with sky charting software Starry Night open but the young children showed little interest in the computer.
The event was over by 7:20 p.m. and the telescopes remained behind to be disassembled and used again. It was a very enjoyable evening for everybody.