Observing Space (L.C. Bates)
L.C. BateS Museum
The L.C.Bates Museum’s Observing Space program model is designed to enhance rural students’ and families’ understanding of astronomy, as well as their understanding of the history of viewing space. The project incorporated NASA’s Universe of Learning activities into museum programs and events. New programs and an accompanying exhibit reinforce museum resources such as telescopes and NISE Network kits. The programs can be used for groups as varied as children’s astronomy camps and evening family viewing programs.
To enhance rural students’ and families’ understanding of astronomy and the history and methods of viewing our universe through the incorporation of NASA’s Universe of Learning activities into museum programs and events.
The target audience for this program model is the rural economically challenged Central Maine community and its families and schools. The school and camp activities are designed for 4th through 8th grades. By presenting school, family and community events a broad audience was reached. The audience included area children who often have little opportunity to travel or access to large museum and science opportunities.
Recommendations for future implementations
It is important to be flexible because students and visitors participating in the programs are often of mixed age and knowledge. People have many ideas about astronomy that are not completely correct. It is important to carefully use the activities to correct misunderstandings.