Last Thursday night the Teen Advisory Group held an Introduction to Astronomy Night geared towards kids. We know so many kids who are obsessed with the popular Percy Jackson series, and so we wanted to use that love of the series to encourage them to explore other aspects. Astronomy was a perfect match, as so many of the constellations come from Greek mythology (well, actually, in my research I discovered that many of the Greek constellations came from the Babylonians, but I digress......Percy Jackson is based on Greek mythology so we began there!)
The TAG gave a presentation talking about stars and where they come from, and the stories and myths behind constellations. We looked at beautiful photographs of nebulae and protostars, wondered about how space is held together, and heard a few dramatic tellings of myths. After the talk, we had lots of fun cutting out and creating constellations to shine on the wall and projecting the spring night sky to give a visual representation of where constellations are and how to find them.
The original idea was to bring telescopes so the kids could learn how to use them and locate stars and constellations that way, but due to a snow storm we ended up using interactive apps to explore and learn about the night sky.
“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious." Stephen Hawking
Here are some more resources to continue exploring the world of Astronomy.
You Are the First Kid on Mars by Patrick O’Brien
Bright Star, Night Star: An Astronomy Story by Karl Beckstrand and Luis F. Sanz
The Librarian Who Measured the Earth by Kathryn Lasky
The Moon Book by Gail Gibbons
Zoo in the Sky: A Book of Animal Constellations by Jacqueline Mitton
The Stars: A New Way to See Them by H. A. Rey
Constellations: A Glow-in-the-Dark Guide to the Night Sky by Chris Sasaki
Postcards from Pluto: A Tour of the Solar System by Loreen Leedy
Wishing on a Star by Fran Lee
Star Myths of the Greeks and Romans: A Sourcebook by Theony Condos
Book of Astronomy and Space by Miles Lisa, Alastair Smith
Keepers of the Night: Native American Stories and Nocturnal Activities for Children by Michael J. Caduto and Joseph Bruchac
Collins Stargazing: Beginners Guide to Astronomy by Royal Observatory Greenwich, Radmila Topalovic, Tom Kerss
Fiction Books: Percy Jackson series by Rich Riordan The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole by Michelle Cuevas Near-Earth Object 2017AP: Destination Earth by John Paul Cater