mjc5 at psu.edu
Tue Mar 8 23:58:58 JST 2011
On Mar 8, 2011, at 1:17 AM, Richard wrote:
> You need to be very careful about interesting your neighbor's kids in
> telescope and astronomy. They might have religious prohibitions against
> scientific activity, or they might reject some teachings of astronomy (the
> age of the universe).
This has happened to me. The club I used to belong to was called by some home schoolers looking for an astronomy presentation in fulfillment of an educational science requirement. At first we were very interested, but in talking to the parent organizing the event, we were going to be vetted on what were allowed to say, and not allowed to say. And it is just about impossible to have a realistic conversation when you have to stop the timeline at 4004 bce. We respectfully declined.
Judging from what I have seen at open observation nights, that's too bad. The kids are naturally curious, and they figure out the tough questions nicely.
What I was surprised at was how many of them really, really liked my home made telescope. A lot asked how I made it, and I often ended up giving impromptu talks on building telescopes to the kids. I have no doubt that a few would grow up to make their own.
> Whatever observatory is built, you need solid block walls that can stop
> bullets from damaging your instruments, as many of the ignoranti like to
> take potshots at strange looking buildings.
Ahh, California. In our neck of the backwoods, I've encouraged inviting the locals to take a look through the scopes. I've found that establishing a rapport with them is a great big help. Word of mouth gets around, and people would know that if they see my car at the site, they should turn off their spotting lights, and if they wanted to they could stop in and chat and look at the sights in the night sky.
What's more, they tell everyone to LWA regarding our stuff.
- 73 de Mike N3LI -
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