August 9, 2012 — The "Dark Skies, Bright Kids" program at the University of Virginia and the Charlottesville Astronomical Society will host a Central Virginia "Star Party" on Aug. 25, from 8 to 10 p.m., at Red Hill Elementary School, located at 3901 Red Hill School Rd. in North Garden.
Families are invited to view spectacular astronomical objects through telescopes and learn more about the solar system, the night sky, galaxies and the universe through fun interactive activities. Several telescopes will be set up and each child will receive a glow stick (while supplies last).
"Dark Skies, Bright Kids" is an outreach club, founded by the Department of Astronomy in the College of Arts & Sciences, dedicated to bringing astronomy to Virginia's rural elementary schools. Staffed and run by volunteers, the organization hosts eight- to 10-week after-school astronomy clubs at rural elementary schools in southern Albemarle County as well as one-time events at other locations in the area.
"These rural schools have been our primary target because, one, they are typically socio-economically disadvantaged, without access to many science-based after-school programs, and two, rural Virginia has some of the darkest skies on the East Coast, making the schools and homes of these students a natural laboratory for learning about and enjoying the night sky," U.Va. astronomer and program organizer Kelsey Johnson said.
"We use fun, hands-on activities to teach astronomy concepts in our weekly club and our most important goals are to show students that science can be fun and encourage them to be curious and inquisitive about the world around them," she added.
For a map and more information, click here.