On April 5th the Keystone Science Center’s observatory will open to the public for a fundraising event to benefit its fourth grade astrology program. Guests will enjoy light snacks, a constellation-themed speech from an astrophotographer, and astronomy-themed short films from the Breckenridge Film Festival.
The Keystone Science center has created a strong local presence, visiting each Summit County classroom at each grade level with specific topics to complement classroom learning. Kids from the front range and beyond also come to the Keystone Science Center for its educational programs and summer camps.
Its local fourth grade astronomy program is a two-part experience. First, the Science Center staff visit each classroom for a lesson and then invites students and their families to the state-of-the-art observatory. Once there, they can explore eight astronomy-themed stations at their own pace, learning about the distances in the solar system, moon phases, constellations, planet properties, and getting special views of outer space through a 14-inch telescope. Learning with loved ones is said to increase the rate of retention.
On April 5th, guests will also get to look through the telescope for special views of space. Our high alpine environment with its thinner atmosphere, drier air, frequency of clear nights, and lack of light pollution make these views of outer space absolutely incredible.
The event will also feature beautiful images of outer space by renowned local astrophotographer Daniel McVey, who will be giving a presentation on constellations. Afterward, guests can use an iPad with constellation software to find their own constellations in the night sky.
Sponsored by the Breckenridge Film Festival, the event will include short film screenings to provide guests with an alternative perspective of Earth and the night sky. Time lapses that demonstrate star trails in the night sky will be playing in addition to the screening of Overview, a thought-provoking film that includes five astronaut interviews.
One of the Keystone Science Center’s six values is to find joy in teaching and learning. They aim to “bring fun and laughter to everything… academic, but far from boring.” You can bet this fundraiser will be exactly that! The observatory is not usually open to the public, so this is truly a one-of-a-kind opportunity to learn about and look into outer space.
Please visit the Keystone Science Center’s event page to learn more.