Kids Learn at Science Saturday Event at Weber State Ott Planetarium | Education
OGDEN – With a strong exhale and a soft “wow” scientific curiosity flourishes. Parents and children deposited in the Ott Planetarium in the Lind Lecture Hall at Weber State University over the weekend for the second “Scientific SaturdayOf the summer.
The July event included a 30-minute presentation in the current planetarium and two activity booths. The event was comprised of staff from the Ott Planetarium, all of whom are current or recent graduates of Weber State, and John Armstrong, director of the planetarium and professor of physics.
“We like to do it because it makes people aware of what’s going on at the planetarium. We can try new activities for the kids, we can show the planetarium shows, ”Armstrong said.
The first table contained stacks of papers, soon to be brochures, on different constellations that the children could fold and keep with them, each with a picture and information about a different celestial formation, from Orion to Ursa Major.
A few feet away, other workers were seated with a line of homemade lava lamps. The lamps, made from a 2-liter bottle filled with a mixture of food coloring and cooking oil, would bubble and react with the addition of Alka-Seltzer tablets.
The event was part of a summer series of free activities funded by the Weber County RAMP program and promoted to students and families by the Ogden School District. According to the Weber County website, the purpose of the RAMP tax is to provide opportunities through recreation, the arts, museums, and parks.
For Terri Holmes, one of the many parents who brought their children to the planetarium, this was the perfect opportunity to involve the children in an interesting and educational summer activity. She brought three children, ages 5 to 13, to join in the fun.
“Knowing that these things are available is really nice and it’s good for a wide range of ages,” she said.
The Holmes family were excited to witness the new show at the planetarium, a behind-the-scenes look at the different jobs and people at an observatory in Chile. Holmes added that this was one of the many RAMP events his family has already attended this summer.
This year was the return of Science Saturdays to Weber State after the summer 2020 events were canceled due to COVID-19. The next and last Scientific Saturday at the Planetarium will be on August 14 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Free summer events supported by Weber County take place weekly and can be viewed on the site county site.
While the staff can hope everyone walks away from the event with a lifetime of science ahead, they are more than happy that attendees leave more curious than when they entered.
“No matter what they end up doing, I really hope they, at a minimum, read about science and explore science all their lives,” Armstrong said. “If they become scientists, it’s even better.
You can reach the journalist Harrison Epstein at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @harrisonepstein.