Did you know there’s an ice cream cone in the sky? Did you know there’s a grouping of six stars that was adopted as the trademark for Subaru vehicles? When you hear the name Polaris, do you first think of the NASA flight mission capsule or the North Star up in the sky? Did you know there’s a hole in the Big Dipper that empties out on Leo’s back?
If you are a bit astronomy challenged; if outer space intrigues you; or if the stars have ever served as your compass – then you MUST take in a program at the Treworgy Planetarium at Mystic Seaport.
The magnificent new Spitz A3P Star Projector takes center stage in the auditorium. It is an imposing sight in and of itself. In addition to the stars shining more brightly, the southern sky can now also be projected for visitors, a new perk.
So take a seat and watch the horizon slowly disappear. Light gives way to darkness. Overhead an awesome sight meets the eye as stars come out of daylight hiding. Whether you’re a first time visitor or a return visitor, it is breathtaking.
A journey amongst the galaxies with R.M. Maxwell leading the way is a special treat. Max takes our miraculous overhead universe and brings it down to planet earth for his audience’s entertainment and knowledge. You will definitely come away knowing much more than when you went in.
One thing is absolutely certain – after experiencing the Planetarium show, you will no longer only think candy bar when you hear the words Milky Way!.
The Planetarium show is a minimal add-on to Museum admission ($2.50), but well worth it for visitors of all ages. The lobby exhibits are always free of charge. Visitors can opt to chart a course using a sextant (a historic navigation tool) and also look at and learn from the interesting visuals showcasing the role of astronomy throughout history.
So next time you’re at Mystic Seaport, make sure to stop by the Planetarium and take a seat. We promise, you’ll soon be seeing stars.
For more information, visit www.mysticseaport.org/planetarium.
All right all you educators out there. Now it’s your turn to take a quiz (with a little blogger help!).
Q. What special event is happening at Mystic Seaport this weekend (April 4 and 5)?
A. Educators’ Weekend. This year’s event will celebrate the International Year of Astronomy.
Q. Who is invited?
A. Teachers, school administrators, support staff and their families (but of course, the general public, too!).
Q. How much will it cost Educators?
A. Show your school or union ID card or a copy of school letterhead at the Museum gate and your admission is FREE! (Up to four people total.)
Q. What does the weekend offer educators?
A. Planned activities will acquaint you with all the Museum has to offer in helping you reach your classroom goals in a fun, outside-the-textbook manner.
Q. Some examples?
A. Attend the amazing Treworgy Planetarium program, “Finding Your Way through the Stars.” Learn more about celestial navigation in the Planetarium lobby’s exhibit. Go on a special compass-guided scavenger hunt in the Museum’s Nautical Instruments Shop. Take a 30-minute sampler tour of the Museum’s science-based guided tours, specially designed for school groups. Try out different shipbuilding tools and do some hands-on rope making. All this an much more… you get the idea!
Bull’s Eye — you passed the quiz!
A $5,000 grant from Target has enabled Mystic Seaport to host Educators’ Weekend for a seventh year. Your assignment is to take advantage of this very special opportunity. For more information and a detailed list of scheduled activities, visit www.mysticseaport.org/ews.
Nintendo, Xbox, iPods, Wii. Do children ever take a break from technology long enough to explore the great outdoors anymore?
Children who visit Mystic Seaport do. The Museum’s summer camp programs offer exciting adventures for 10 to 15-year-olds — all without the use of a television screen or blinking cursor.
Outside — yes. On the water — yes. In the water — maybe (just kidding). Don’t panic, parents. This is a safe and fun environment with seasoned, experienced sailors and educators in charge. Some, like Camp Director Hallie Payne, were once Mystic Seaport campers themselves and have returned as adults to ensure their fond memories become another generation’s fond memories, too.
During the six-day program, campers learn the fundamentals of sailing, seamanship and all things related to becoming comfortable and knowledgeable about boat handling. A fleet of Dyer Dhows provide the classroom for these young sailors.
Learning to sail on the historic Mystic River.
And coolest of all, campers get to sleep aboard the historic training ship, the Joseph Conrad. Outfitted with bunks, showers, flush toilets, heat and electricity, the vessel is now permanently moored along Mystic Seaport’s waterfront.
After campers spend time aboard the Conrad, they quickly learn that it really is possible to get along without cell phones, texting, computers and television and still have fun! (The aforementioned aren’t permitted.)
Climbing the rigging of the Joseph Conrad.
Sailing instructor Allie Ruel sees the transformation that takes place in the campers from their first day to their last day of camp. At first, it’s “Do I have to stay?” and by the end of the camp it’s “Do I have to leave?” Now, what better testimonial is there than that?
Available spots for the upcoming 2009 Joseph Conrad Overnight Summer Sailing Camp are filling up fast. Learn more online, or to register for any program, call Central Reservations at 860.572.5322.