Family Field Trip: Stargazing
A family leaves the city lights in search for stars
Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science. -Edwin Hubble
Introduce your kids to the universe by spending a night out under the stars. Watching the sunset and nighttime sky twinkle isn’t just a lesson in aesthetics, it’s a lesson in science. Plus, learning the universe goes on forever and that the possibilities are quite literally endless can be catalysts to inspire imagination.
Photographs by Dave K Cooper
In order to get a good view of the stars, we needed to escape the light pollution of the city. So we packed up our car with just a few essentials: A thermos filled with warm mulled cider, a blanket and a copy of H. A. Rey’s Find the Constellations and headed west.
Watching the sunset was a lesson about Earth’s rotation; fall colors sparked conversations about Earth tilting on its axis and bringing the change in seasons; and a flip through our book, showed us the constellations we might find.
Going…going…gone. The sun disappears below the horizon and we get ready for the show. Waiting for the stars provided the perfect opportunity to ask questions like: Did you know the Earth isn’t perfectly round?, What’s the difference between a planet and a star? and Where do the stars and planets go during the daytime?
A drop in temperature calls for a huddle under the blanket, which, doubles as a model for how the atmosphere keeps the earth warm. But best of all, it’s an opportunity for one more sip of warm cider and a snuggle with the kids.
Teaching your children about science doesn’t have to be daunting or complex. It can be as simple, and as beautiful, as sitting in a field, staring at the sky.