In preparation of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landings, the Huntsville Public Library hosted volunteers from the Houston Museum of Natural Science on Monday, with a hands-on presentation about the astronomical wonders of the universe. 

“This event worked perfectly as we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing with our summer reading program, a universe of stories,” library adult public services coordinator Mary Kokot said. “We love to have fun, educational and interactive programs and this was great.”

Presentations from the museum are offered through the docents to go program, which features 11 subjects in 45 minute sessions for all ages, with hands-on materials and artifacts from the museum.

“The purpose of the program is to bring the education and information from the museum to those who may be unable to visit us,” museum volunteer Irmi Willcockson said. “It is always fun for us and of course the kids who learn a lot and find interests in new subjects.”

Attendees were given an in-depth presentation about the different plants, moons, stars and galaxies in the solar system and learned about the distance, temperature, movement and composition of stars. The audience also learned about different types of telescopes and their purpose and the different waves of light in the universe.

“I was surprised how much I learned from the presentation,” Kokot added. “You could tell the kids had a great time.”

Museum volunteers asked members of the audience to use models to demonstrate the earth’s proximity to the sun and the proximity of the planets in the galaxy. The volunteers also used a color changing lamp to demonstrate the spectrum of light while using spectrometer telescopes and even held a piece of a meteorite.

“It is always very exciting to see the audience reaction to the different demonstrations we give,” Willcockson added. “We got a great reaction from the kids with the meteorite and the adults with the telescopes. I am happy we were able to come here and bring some fun and learning to the community.”

The summer reading program will continue through July 12, with logs due by July 19 and a celebration party on July 23 at 2 p.m. at the library.

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