Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Trip to Local Planetarium

A few weeks ago, a few of our homeschool families in our T.O.R.C.H. homeschooling group met at a local planetarium for a group field trip.  I didn't even know this place existed and it was only about an hour from my home.
When we first arrived we went into the kid's discovery room and the children enjoyed this entertaining area.
There was a water play area where the children could shoot the water at the target and race their astronaut to the top to the finish line.
This was a big hit as the kid's watched the two racers.

Here is a closer shot of the water play game.

Star Locator that showed the constellations.

There was a Rollercoaster where the kid's could release a marble on a track to show the different forms of energy.

 Here is the Rollercoaster track where they could see if the marbles stayed on the track or not.

There was a Harmonograph which according to this sign is a "mechanical apparatus that employs pendulums to create a geometric image.
My son and his friend are mesmorized by how the Harmonograph is drawing their geometric design.
Here's a close up of the pen being held by a mechanical arm to make the drawing.

Here is a finished product.

After the children explored the discovery area, we then went into the darkened room to watch a film titled, "Oasis in Space".  The ceiling was dome shaped so it felt like we were in space.  This was my first trip to a planetarium along with my children so we enjoyed the experience.   Here we are listening to the presenter.
Before the film, the presenter asked the kids which planet had no water on it.  After several guesses the answer was Venus.  (I didn't know that).  So during "Oasis in Space" we went on a simulated journey to outer space where we got to visit each planet and land on the surface of each one and we even landed on the moon!  It was a very neat and educational experience and my 3 year old enjoyed trying to catch the stars in space!  I got a little dizzy when the film made it seem like we were spinning on our travels though :)  The presenter also showed us several different constellations as if we were laying outside the planetarium on the grass looking up at the stars.  This was very interesting, as well.

My little astronauts going to to the moon:
It was a great field trip and everyone learned a lot (including parents) and had a fun time!
We are currently not studying astronomy in science, but Anna-Marie is over at Life's Adventures.  So for my own future reference and to share all the neat things Anna-Marie is doing in her Astronomy unit, I am listing below the different posts Anna-Marie has published. Just click on the titles below to read each post.  I hope you will stop by her blog and get some great Astronomy ideas that I hope to refer to when we study the stars!

Making Craters

I am linking up this post to Lynda's A Day in Our Life Blog Hop and you can also link up by going HERE

Please join Lynda, Anna-Marie and myself for February's No Ordinary Blog Hop (NOBH).  You can link up any or all your posts for the entire month of February.  The blogger with the most posts will be awarded a Star Blogger Award.  Click below for details!


Unknown said...

How fun! I went to a planetarium when I was in elementary school. I will never forget the experience. Your cupcakes are adorable astronauts. Maybe one day it will be for real for one of them.

I voted for you, and have a wonderful day tomorrow. Blessings to you as always!

Nicole said...

What a cool outing! Which we had one of those near us :)

The Arrival, only .99c on Amazon/Smashwords

Great post Tracy and thanks for the link ups back to my blog you are so sweet to do that. Looks like you found an awesome planetarium to visit! All the hands on activities is always fun for the children to do and they retain it better:) Glad you enjoyed it, we are having a fantastic time learning about space It is amazing what I have forgotten from my schooling days, I am learning along with my kids:)

Beach Mama said...

Where is the Planetarium? Is it Long Beach or Oak Island?

Aimee said...

What a great field trip! My daughter LOVES outer space. We vacationed in Arizona last May and had the chance to go to the Lowell Observatory. It was really interesting. We went back at night and got to look at planets through their big telescopes. We saw Venus and Saturn. Saturn was really could see the rings and everything!

Angela said...

Thanks for following Mommy Time Out. For some reason it won't let me follow back:( I will try again later.

Hi Tracy stopping in to say HI and Vote. Hope you have a great day!!

noreen said...

Hi Tracy, thank you for stopping by my blog. I'm following you too. And thanks for the inpiration to go to our Adler Planeterium in Chicago. We haven't gone in a few years so, we should definitely go back.

Your blog looks like it's done by a professional! I would grab your button but I don't know how to do it. Any tips?

Wow what a field trip! I love your little astronauts....

Unknown said...

Stopping by to vote and say hi! I hope you are having a wonderful weekend.

Hi Lynda!
Yeah, who knows maybe my little cupcakes will one day be little astronauts! That would be out of this world! :) LOL :) Hope you are having a great weekend yourself! It's been a busy one for us around here!

Hi Nicole!
It was a fun outing and I hope we can make it back soon! Thanks for your visit and comment!

Hi Anna-Marie!
I hope I can pull together an awesome astronomy unit like yours one day for my kids and then go back to the planetarium when I do! Thanks for your visit and comment!

Hi "BeachMama"!
The Planetarium was in Brunswick County and here is the website address if you want more information:

Thanks for your visit and comment!

Hi Aimee,
Your AZ trip sounds amazing! You saw the rings of Saturn? That's so cool! Thanks for your visit and comment!

Hi Angela!
Thanks for stopping in and I hope you get a chance to follow my blog :)

Hi Noreen!
It would be awesome to go to a bigger planetarium. The one we went to was small, I'd say. I hope my email was helpful! Thanks for visiting and commenting!

Hi Kim!
It was a fun little field trip! The kids loved the movie we saw and they loved how we pretended to be traveling in space to the different planets. Thanks for stopping by!

Jennifer said...

Looks like a lot of fun! I'll be bookmarking those links for when we get to Astronomy in 2nd grade. Oh, and I'm following you too!

Hi Jen,
Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Thanks for following also! Anna-Marie's astronomy links are great, I hope you get to use them sometime!

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