Aug 12, 2006: Girl Scout Overnight Astronomy Camp

Michael Richmond
Aug 15, 2006

During the spring of 2006, one of the local Girl Scout leaders contacted Stefi Baum, the head of the Center of Imaging Sciences at RIT, to ask if RIT would be able to offer a program on astronomy (as well as imaging and other topics). Stefi -- a former Girl Scout -- agreed, and asked me to arrange an astronomy event. We settled on an "overnight astronomy camp" for the night of August 12/13, 2006, hoping that clear skies might reveal a few Perseids during our activities.

Many scouts signed up to come -- we reached our limit of 40 scouts well before the night itself. The weather was fair and things looked good. We met in the CIS building on the RIT campus at 7:00 PM. Since it wasn't dark yet, the scouts and their leaders watched a movie, Contact , in which a young girl grows up to become an astronomer and has some, um, interesting adventures.

Click on this picture, and other pictures, for a larger version.

When the movie finished, around 10:00 PM, we had a snack of pizza and soft drinks. We broke the scouts up into four groups of roughly 9 girls each.

Then everyone drove over to the RIT Observatory.

At the Observatory, we rotated the groups through four activities.

At around 12:45 AM, after all the groups had completed all four activities, the scouts returned to the Imaging Sciences building to sack out in several classrooms. It finally quieted down around 2:00 AM, and I hear some people actually managed to sleep.

Early the next morning, I put out the fixings for breakfast and made several pots of strong coffee. The scouts and their leaders gradually woke up, ate breakfast, filled out evaluation forms, and headed home.

Last modified 8/15/2006 by MWR