By Megan Ockert
“Young planetarians” bored by winter will have an opportunity starting in February to look up to the stars.
Beginning Feb. 2, Longway Planetarium, located on E. Kearsley Street, is hosting a Young Planetarians astronomy camp, available for kids in grades six through eight.
The seven-week long camp is scheduled every Thursday from Feb. 2 to March 16 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., and costs $90 per student. The camp will conclude with an indoor picnic in which the students present what they’ve learned over the course of the camp to their families and friends.
According to an announcement issued by the planetarium, the camp will teach children about various topics in astronomy, including constellation identification, solar systems, galaxies, distances in space, and how to operate a simple telescope.
During the final week of the camp, students will learn to operate the planetarium and give a “star talk” to their families and friends.
Each week, the camp will have a different area of focus. The first week of the camp will serve as an introduction, teaching students what astronomy is and cover basic observations. Students will learn about Aristotle and Copernicus as well as Galileo. They will also discover the North Star and circumpolar constellations.
The next week of the class, beginning Feb. 9, will teach students about the solar system, including its shape and motion. Students will be invited to make hypotheses about how the solar system formed and learn about the inner workings of stars.
By Feb. 16, students will learn about galaxies and discover how to calculate the distances of stars from earth by Feb. 23.
In March, students will learn how to operate a basic telescope.
The final week of the camp is reserved for the indoor picnic and star talks on March 16. Each student will get seven tickets to be used for food. All family and friends are welcome, and any food left after 5:30 p.m. is free to all comers. People are also welcome to bring their own food.
Those interested in participating can register online or by calling 237-3409.
Staff writer Megan Ockert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.