So I volunteered to be the Astronomy guy at the Science fair at Marlton Elementary School. Thought you might be interested in how that went. I was lucky, the weather held up in spite of a bad forecast. It actually started to rain as I was packing up to go home when it was over. I had 4 forth grade classes for 45 minute periods. The teachers stayed and I had a Mom (Patty) volunteer helped me for the entire day. I set up all my equipment: 12Ē LX200, 80MM refractor with Solar filter, 80MM shot tube refractor, 15x70 binoculars on the Unimount and the hand held 10x50 Orion eyeglass wearer friendly binoculars. As each class arrived I sat them down and did a little Q. & A. I talked for about 10 minutes about Telescopes, how they work and Sun spots. Any longer and the kids would have exploded to get the telescopes. Next I took them to the scopes and showed them how to use each instrument. The Short tube and the binos were hands on equipment so they could point where ever they wanted. The big scope and the 80MM pointed at the Sun were supposed to be hands off (Ha Ha Ha Ha). Unfortunately, there was only 1 tiny little Sun spot and passing clouds made it difficult to see. All but the last class did see the Sun. I had a few good targets for the LX200. There was a house in the distance with a white window curtain and an orange flower pot on the window sill. The flower pot was just barley visible to the naked eye as an orange dot. In the LX200 it filled the field in the eyepiece. The kids loved that! We also looked at a STOP sign which was upside down and backward in the eyepiece, they said it spelled POTS. The one that impressed me was the water or electric meter on the house, we could read the digits. The binos on the Unimount were very popular, you could tell by the pushing, shoving and fingerprints. About halfway through each session, I called all the kids wearing eyeglasses over to the table. I explained why they were having trouble with the binoculars and showed them the specially made eyeglass wearer friendly binos. Very popular item. Most the teachers wore glasses and were quite interested themselves. I had many books and magazines on the table for them to look at. A frog jumping around became a distraction. I told them I didnít bring the frog, so get over here and look at what I did bring. That went over big with the teacher. Iíd say the most popular item was the 80MM short tube. It was on a regular camera tripod and very easy to use. There was a small pond just outside the schoolyard fence. About 40 ft from the fence on the edge of the pond there was a pile of deer bones including the skull. Everyone wanted to see the deer bones. If I do something like this again I will try to remember to bring a pile of deer bones.
The kids were very well behaved, not really too many hundreds of fingerprints. Lunch was served, big 6 ft. sandwich and salads etc. They gave me a cookies basket as a thank you gift. All in all, it went very well, I was happy to do it.