How can a kid travel through space at the speed of light without either a rocket, NASA training or parental supervision? With Nancy B’s Science Club MoonScope Telescope of course. At a reasonable price point, good entry level functionality and quality, this telescope allows budding scientists and astronomers to get their first close look at the moon, planets and constellations. With its 90 times magnification, kids were excited to see features on the moon totally different than the normal 2D image with the unaided eye. Shadows, craters large and small, peaks and adjacent valleys animate the lunar surface as a true “other” place, as opposed to a decal rolled onto the night sky. That experience, plus their first real live view of Saturn’s rings and Jupiter’s moons, was only the beginning. The real “magic” that Educational Insights has designed into this set is the accompanying “Star Gazer’s Activity Journal.” This twenty two page companion booklet guides, instructs and seals excellent language learning into discovery play. What components make up a telescope? What’s the difference between a moon, a star, a planet and a constellation? How do you convert observations of things you have never seen before into words and sentences that describe what you have learned? How do you look at your journal entries and describe what you have done to a friend or parent? You may find opportunity for some great cross generational dialogue. With instruction from the Activity Journal and the aid of MoonScope, have kids find the Apennine Mountains on the lunar surface. When they’ve got it, tell them what you were doing and where you were on July 20, 1969 (oops, you better be old enough) when you saw Neil Armstrong near those ridges on TV. It’s not only a case of astronomers being born, or made, Nancy B. knows some of the best scientists played their way to stardom.
Bob Artemenko contributed to this review. Bob is the other half of our PAL Award team, CMO, as well as a pilot and star gazer.
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