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Dark Skies Awareness Blog from Simiao Samira You

Waking Kids Up (to the night sky)

Dark sky awareness and our youth can and do go together! The time is now to get our youth involved in campaigns to prevent and hopefully reverse some of the damage we are doing to the night sky. I am in the fortunate position to interact with our youth on a day to day basis, as I teach six astronomy classes per day in a Texas public high school. The number of students that sign up for the course continues to grow each year and it is because they want to know the night sky. This affords an opportunity to make a large number of our next generation’s leaders and citizens aware of the night sky they are missing. I do not approach the topic until we are well into the year, usually after we have viewed and studied a variety of incredible night sky images from several dark sky sites. This generally elicits questions such as, “Does the night sky really look like that?” or “Is this a real picture?” At this point in the year, enough of the students are hooked and are jumping at the chance to take part in real science. Within the classroom, I make efforts to incorporate as many citizen science projects as possible. One that has been easy to implement is Globe at Night (GaN). I usually incorporate a visual component into my class to teach the students how to find their way around the night sky. This year after returning from winter break, I learned that few... Read More..