Family Science Club

Pointing to the Author of Science


Youth holding signs representing constellations in their approximate positions around the sun, 2012

Image: Youth holding signs representing constellations in their approximate positions around the sun while Kevin explains. Taken by Heidi Weaver.

Teaching astronomy to the Boys Brigade unit at Trinity Bible Church in 2012

We do not have pictures of many of our lessons so far, because we were too busy teaching them. As we get more used to teaching, we are doing better at documenting things as they happen.

The first full lesson we taught was to a youth group, in part because of our experience with teaching in Civil Air Patrol. Boys Brigade is a similar age group to the CAP cadet program.

Kevin Weaver taught during four Wednesday evening meetings in a row. We spent the first three indoors, focusing on the mechanics of astronomy. We talked about stars, the motions of planets, and finding the constellations.

Holding constellation markers at different reference points, 2012

Image: Some constellations are well to the north or south, of course. Taken by Heidi Weaver.

Kevin showed them how the main types of telescopes work. We had the boys practice with them indoors, so that they would be used to working with them before trying to use them in the dark.

Boys looking through reflector telescope, 2012

Image: Kevin having the boys look through our 5-inch reflector telescope - they were looking at a map way down the hall. Taken by Heidi Weaver.

On the last evening we spent the time outside to look at Mars, Jupiter, and the Orion Nebula. None of those is spectacular in a five-inch telescope, but they are distinct enough that everyone could identify them. We did not get any pictures of the outside viewing, of course, because it was pretty dark at the time.

Earth and Mars, to scale, drawn by Heidi Weaver, 2012

Image: Earth and Mars, to scale. Drawn by Heidi Weaver.

Heidi Weaver is an artist. She made some illustrations to show what some of the planets look like. She also made some scale diagrams in Corel Draw. When we cannot purchase materials or get permission to use what we find on the Internet, we make our own. We do not make copies unless we are sure that would fall under the fair use doctrine of copyright law.