On the night of Friday, Jan 19, a troop of Cub Scouts came to visit the Observatory. Unfortunately, the skies were overcast (and the temperatures were low), so we couldn't use the telescopes.
Instead, we provided a couple of indoor activities. I tried to show the Scouts how scientists can break the light from stars into a rainbow with a diffraction grating and then use spectral lines to identify the elements within a star. It was only a qualified success with the kids, though several of the adults were able to identify correctly the hydrogen and helium gas tubes based in their spectra.
Stacey Davis showed the Scouts how they could build their own star wheels. This activity went well -- there were no accidents with scissors :-) It was just too bad that we couldn't go outside and see how the pattern of constellations on the star wheels matched that in the real sky.
I hope that the troop will come back for another visit sometime in the spring or summer, when the skies are more likely to be clear.
The Scouts sent us a very nice thank-you note! Click on the picture for a full-sized version.
Last modified 2/24/2007 by MWR.