Co-ordinator: Troshini Naidoo
Age group: 2-6 year olds plus parents and teachers
Approximately 80 people in attendence.
SAAO volunteers present
: Nic, Christian, Shazrene, Buzani, JC (OAD), Maya (OAD)
: Nic Loaring
The star gazing event was held at the Stepping Stones Montessori Pre- school in Oranjezicht as part of a picnic evening held at the school for school children and their parents. We arrived at 7pm, while it was still light and used the time to set up four telescopes before the first astronomical object, Jupiter was visible.
The telescopes were initially focused and aligned using the upper cable way station and once complete the children and their parents had the opportunity to view the station up close! At the same time we made three Earth balls available for the children to explore and play with and had two ipads loaded with astronomical software and a laptop displaying stellarium displayed on allow table. Once Jupiter was visible we pointed all the telescopes towards it and the children and their parents had the opportunity to observe Jupiter and its Galilean moons. Other objects observed included Orion's nebula and the Jewel Box Cluster. I tried as best as possible to update the stellarium display on my laptop to match the the objects being viewed in the telescopes. This gave the children a good sense of what they were looking at as they could zoom in and out on the computer display.
In addition to seeing Jupiter, another highlight for the children were the ipads we took. This is the first time I have taken them to an outreach event and I will definitely do so again.The children whizzed through the planet software, zooming in and out, rotating views and jumping to different planets with ease. They were clearly a hit!