On April 1, the Sudie A. Fulford Community Learning Center at East Georgia State College, along with Magnolia Midlands Georgia Youth Science and Technology Centers (GYSTC), hosted a Virtual Family Astronomy Night. The free virtual event was open to any students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Each participant received supplies that they were able to use to build their experiments.
Students and families who participated went on four virtual “missions.” On the first mission, students had a “blast” designing and building a rocket. They were able to test their design and make changes to improve the rocket’s flight. On the next mission, students learned how to “visit” another planet through a free planetarium website where they learned interesting facts about planets and got to see Mars up close. During the third mission, students worked with their family to design and build a landing device to help their “astronauts” land safely. In the final mission, students learned tips for stargazing. They learned about things to look for in the night sky and how to identify these objects. Students were encouraged to keep a moon journal to watch for patterns as they observe the moon’s changing appearance.
“Even though we could not host this event in person this year, I am so glad that we had the opportunity to host it virtually,” said Erin Youmans, Magnolia Midlands GYSTC Regional coordinator. “I always enjoy seeing families working together and learning together. We are so glad that these families could join us for this exciting event.”
Harley Smith, coordinator of communications and the Fulford Center, and Kim Hooks, part-time STEM instructor for GYSTC, assisted Youmans in the event activities.
“We are so happy so many kids and families joined us for this fun event! It was great to see families working together on the activities, having fun, and laughing together. We want to thank everyone who took the time to join us and to participate,” said Smith.