The Daily Tar Heel

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Monday December 5th

Planetarium hosts free family science day

Rajen Dey (age 6) fishes around in a log to find termites at the "Right Tool for the Job" exhibit Saturday morning outside of Morehead Planetarium during their Children's Science day (check the name of the event, as I deleted the assignment email already). Many families showed up to the event to have their children experience Anthropology in a fun environment.

Rajen is wearing Blue (age 6) and Vijay is wearing Green (age 8)
Buy Photos Rajen Dey (age 6) fishes around in a log to find termites at the "Right Tool for the Job" exhibit Saturday morning outside of Morehead Planetarium during their Children's Science day (check the name of the event, as I deleted the assignment email already). Many families showed up to the event to have their children experience Anthropology in a fun environment. Rajen is wearing Blue (age 6) and Vijay is wearing Green (age 8)

Durham resident Trish Christie used to visit Morehead Planetarium when she was a child.

And Saturday afternoon she was able to give a similar experience to her daughter listening to evolution campfire stories and digging through fossils with 16-month-old Lila.

The pair attended Morehead Planetarium's free family science day" ""It's Only Human!""" co-presented by the UNC Society of Anthropology Students and the Department of Biology.

More than 100 parents and children who attended the event were able to look through the planetarium's exhibits and create their own cave paintings" among other activities.

""It's really fun. They've enjoyed all the hands-on things"" Christie said. It gives us something to do that's not too expensive.""

Senior Brent Chen" a Planetarium employee who made origami butterflies with attending families" said the best part of the experience was seeing the expression on the children's faces.

""They're doing things that they wouldn't ordinarily have access to in their schools"" he said.

Agreeing, Christie said schools have limited resources compared to UNC.

All the artifacts and stuff ­— they can't get that at school really"" she said.

And though Chen said sometimes young children had a difficult time understanding the topics discussed, such as evolution and the fossil record, he also said they still enjoy the activities.

I think they take something away from it and it's a lot of fun doing it"" he said.

Families also were able to attend 30-minute shows in Morehead Planetarium's NASA Digital Theater.

Adam Miller, a UNC graduate who writes curricula for Morehead Planetarium's camps and events, put on several of Saturday's shows.

Miller said it was great to teach children without having to worry about standardized tests, discipline problems or state-based curriculum.

It's a real fun job" he said. As an educator" I can focus on what I want the kids to learn.""

Saturday" his presentations showed how the eye's cone receptors become tired when looking at purple light and shut down which creates the appearance of green light.

He also dimmed the lights and lit a Gummi Bear on fire to show how much energy it contained.

Giving presentations to children is exciting and the best part of his day" Miller said.

""It's always fun to see that sort of ‘wow' expression on their face.""



Contact the University Editor at udesk@unc.edu.


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