Before Your Visit:
- Check the forecast – you will need a clear night with minimal clouds in order to view through the telescope.
- Bring a jacket and bug spray.
- Visit the Powell Observatory website to decide which program would be most interesting – for young kids, choose one that highlights a topic they are familiar with such as the moon.
- If you have one, bring a 'red light' flashlight to help you see while walking around the grounds.
Explore Powell Observatory:
- Ask your kids what they are interested in seeing – stars, galaxies, Mars – then visit the Powell Observatory website to decide which program fits your child's interests.
- When you first arrive, listen to a short presentation on the topic of the evening (note: the info presented may be a little confusing to younger kids, but most presentations will have slides or photos the kids can view).
- Prepare your kids for using the large telescope – the observatory needs to be kept dark, and they will need to climb a tall staircase/ladder. Scientists will explain the process but some kids are not ready for the darkness.
- Make sure to view the stars using the 2 smaller telescopes located outside of the observatory. It may be pointed at a different object in the sky.
- Stop and visit with the scientists and astronomers who bring their personal telescopes. They are very knowledgeable and love to talk to kids and answer questions.
- Be prepared for a great conversation on the way home! You might view a galaxy, an old star who’s light has gone out or other amazing things. Kids will come up with unbelievable questions – like “Do stars really die?”
- Play some fun online games at NASA Kids Club (start at Level 1).
- Make sure to check our list to find a few fun books about space for the kids to read!
If you want to learn more about the night sky:
- Visit the planetarium at Science City to see Big Bird's Adventure.