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General Astronomy >> Outreach

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Littlegreenman
Post Laureate
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Reged: 05/09/05

Loc: Southern California
Re: Wild and unruly kids new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5524888 - 11/17/12 06:53 PM

I just realized, one annoying person is someone like me: another amateur, who in my enthusiasm forgets it's not my scope! And starts doing things...

LGM


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csrlice12
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Wild and unruly kids new [Re: Littlegreenman]
      #5525170 - 11/17/12 09:46 PM

Uh, if you feel the need to install a Zambuto mirror in my scope, go right ahead....

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kfiscus
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 07/09/12

Loc: Albert Lea, MN, USA
Re: Wild and unruly kids new [Re: Michael Rapp]
      #5528735 - 11/19/12 08:25 PM

I'm going to get preachy...
It is not ours to declare outreach a waste of time. We usually don't get to see the results of our efforts. The impact on the wildest kid may not be evident for decades.

We cannot guarantee positive outcomes but can be sure none will occur if we don't try.


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Perigny270
super member


Reged: 10/23/11

Loc: Temiscaming, Quebec
Re: Wild and unruly kids new [Re: kfiscus]
      #5528902 - 11/19/12 09:53 PM

Quote:

I'm going to get preachy...
It is not ours to declare outreach a waste of time. We usually don't get to see the results of our efforts. The impact on the wildest kid may not be evident for decades.

We cannot guarantee positive outcomes but can be sure none will occur if we don't try.




Yup!


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Michael Rapp
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Reged: 04/27/04

Loc: Dickinson, TX
Re: Wild and unruly kids [Re: Perigny270]
      #5529638 - 11/20/12 09:12 AM

Again, these kids are in the far minority, but wow when they act up, they act up.

As if to give me something to post on this thread, last Saturday we had one kid walk off with my step ladder (okay, he did just want to use it on a nearby scope, but still) and the same kid removed the eyepiece from someone else's scope.

The parents were a little oblivious about his behavior....but they were captivated by a constellation tour someone was giving, so I can't get too annoyed.

You gotta just shake your head sometimes.

(Then there are the other, more joyous extremes that make outreach all worth it. I had a gemologist look through my scope that night as well and was more captivated by Alberio than anyone I had ever seen. She just could not take her eyes off it!)


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GeneT
Ely Kid
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Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: Wild and unruly kids new [Re: Michael Rapp]
      #5552991 - 12/03/12 10:25 PM

Quote:

those wild, unruly kids. These are the ones that grab the scope and push it around.




After my second outreach session, I decided I needed to get control of the situation. I had both adults and children line up behind the telescope. I guided them up the step stool, and told them to place their eye about an inch from the eyepiece. They held on to the top of the step stool, and were told not to touch the telescope. When their eye was about an inch from the eyepiece, I guided their hand to the focusser. I then had them slowly move their eye to the eyepiece, and turn the focusser. I did fairly well controlling the situation. However, after about a year of doing extensive outreach, I decided it was not for me. I give a lot of my personal time to church and community service. What I need in my astronomical ventures is to focus on viewing. I enjoy viewing with others who know how to use and who own telescopes. Outreach is important. However, I am just in a different place.


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skinnyonce
super member
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Reged: 03/23/11

Loc: ohio
Re: Wild and unruly kids new [Re: GeneT]
      #5558314 - 12/06/12 09:24 PM

you people are more tolerant then myself,
my ears are longer than most peoples for a reason( parents would pull them when I acted up or showed disrespect)


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Jitou
super member


Reged: 07/29/08

Loc: France
Re: Wild and unruly kids new [Re: Hikari]
      #5558633 - 12/07/12 02:41 AM

I once planned to organize an outreach event in my village and then I realized how risky this operation would have been for my expensive 18" truss dobson. I know that kids move like butterflies around scopes whether because they are excited by this new experience or they are simply bored to be here.

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fuzzystuff4ever
member


Reged: 11/26/12

Loc: Micco, FL
Re: Wild and unruly kids new [Re: Jitou]
      #5558792 - 12/07/12 08:13 AM

A lot of these kids are mad/bored 'cause their parents dragged them kicking and screaming away from Halo or World of Warcraft or whatever to do something "educational". Usually they're a lot more interested in watching us point out stuff with a laser pointer; the little ones have fun chasing the green dot around the grass (kind of like kittens).

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orion61

*****

Reged: 10/20/07

Loc: Birthplace James T Kirk
Re: Wild and unruly kids new [Re: Astrosetz]
      #5597022 - 12/30/12 10:16 PM

I set the expectations early and often, I give one warning
then they are not allowed near the equipment.
It is exactly like in school, the soft spoken "nice" teachers get eaten up and spit out! by the little devils LOL


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star drop
Snowed In
*****

Reged: 02/02/08

Loc: Snow Plop, WNY
Re: Wild and unruly kids new [Re: orion61]
      #5597218 - 12/31/12 12:21 AM

One narrow lane to the telescope and one child at a time. Line the remaining area around the telescope with glue traps, the kind that are used for catching mice.

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Skylook123
Postmaster
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Reged: 04/30/05

Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: Wild and unruly kids new [Re: orion61]
      #5597266 - 12/31/12 01:09 AM

Managing the environment is not easy for many people. We astronomers tend to prefer solitary work, or sharing some time with peers. It is certainly NOT a character flaw to not want the little, or not so little, darlings running around on sugar highs. After 20 years of outreach, prior to which I coached baseball for 20 years at all ages from pre-Little League through high school, and for many years refereed 10 or more football games a week at the same age levels, I've worked around that audience for over forty years and I'm accustomed to it. Plus my wife was a high school science teacher for many years, and accompanies me on some outreach events. One year her senior physics students got her a tongue in cheek desk sign that said "Harsh but Unfair." If it's my two oldest granddaughters running the scopes, they both teach martial arts and have three younger brothers from whom they take NO baloney.

For twenty years I've been doing about six events each month at schools, plus a half dozen state and county park public events each year, and coming up on ten years of the Grand Canyon Star Party with eight nights of up to 1400 visitors each night and I honestly can say, with an average of about 11,000 young customers each year, I have not had a problem with discipline. Between the 10" SCT/Atlas EQ-G and the 18" Teeter, not cheap stuff and both of which may be in play depending on the venue, I have never had any issue with equipment. Our club takes the outreach very seriously, with about 30 of us who do from one to six or more events each month, and our coordination with the sponsoring organization is explicit regarding expectations. GCSP and the state and county parks are different situations, of course, but at those locations the behavior is generally very good. But to enjoy doing this takes a particular mind set, and it is not for everyone. And that's OK. To paraphrase Orion61, they smell fear.


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James Ling
sage
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Reged: 09/18/10

Loc: Singapore
Re: Wild and unruly kids new [Re: Skylook123]
      #5597337 - 12/31/12 02:58 AM Attachment (32 downloads)

Quote:



For twenty years I've been doing about six events each month at schools, plus a half dozen state and county park public events each year, and coming up on ten years of the Grand Canyon Star Party with eight nights of up to 1400 visitors each night and I honestly can say, with an average of about 11,000 young customers each year, I have not had a problem with discipline.





Hi Jim....

Wow.... twenty years of participation in outreach activities.....
No wonder with the years of experience, definitely no problem with discipline.....

Hi All....

As for me, I am always next to my equipment at all times for the whole duration of the outreach event...
This enable me to reposition back the viewing object, in the event of any rough handling....,
And I have to admit that doing side walk or outreach activities, enable me to be patient, directing and explaining to anyone who either claims he or she cannot see in the ep, or asking questions, which is holding up the long queues....

REgards

James Ling


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gillmj24
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Reged: 12/06/05

Loc: PA
Re: Wild and unruly kids new [Re: James Ling]
      #5597355 - 12/31/12 03:46 AM

James forgive the positive stereotype but your culture probably treasures respect much more than we do, unfortunately for us in the US. I can deal with kids wanting to touch the telescope if I am there, I can't deal with dozens of little boys playing tag and almost running into my tripod carrying a big apo refractor for example.

I started a similar thread yesterday and I referred the parent who asked me to the three local clubs who can help run a program better than I can.

Also here in America you might be sued if someone in line (queue) 50m away from the solar scope stares at the sun and goes blind.

Edited by gillmj24 (12/31/12 03:52 AM)


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NeuWerld
super member
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Reged: 08/14/12

Loc: Mentor-on-the-Lake, OH
Re: Wild and unruly kids new [Re: gillmj24]
      #5599080 - 01/01/13 03:12 AM

In 2009 I started volunteering at the Super Star Party at a park by where I live, the whole night is tailored towards children and getting them into astronomy. I didn't own a telescope at the time but came and helped people set up, break down, clean up...whatever they needed, and in return I had a lot of 1 on 1 time with the guys who brought their scopes and got to hear what they had to say and learn a bit on a more personal level. One of the guys had a real nice 12" solid-tube dob, a DIY project with some exceptional optics...I was lucky enough to spend a good hour looking through it until it was attacked. Attacked you say? One of the kids (probably 4th or 5th grade) picked up a handful of rocks off the walkway and hurled it right into the end of the tube, right in front of me, the owner, AND his parents. Then when confronted the parents told him that "kids will be kids" and refused to offer compensation saying that in the dark his telescope looked like a trash can and it's not their fault that their kid mistook it for one. The whole argument went on for about 15 minutes with the dad actually threatening the guy a few times (the first after being told the price of the mirror the kid broke!) before park rangers called the police to come settle things. The family tried to bolt after the cops were called but the rangers were having none of it and parked their SUV behind their car. Not sure exactly what ended up happening. After the whole ordeal went down they ended the event for the night and we were all asked to go home.

I've never done outreach with my scope because of this night, I'd love to...believe me I would, but I don't know how I'd handle that situation if placed in it. I would be more then happy to set up for a older audience but I don't think I could handle kids . It's unfortunate that the possible actions of 1 overly rambunctious kid are responsible for my way of thinking but it's a risk I'm just not willing to take.

Now I'm just 31 so I really can't say "back in my day" because it wasn't that long ago lol, but, back in my day I remember my parents taking me to a star party when I was no older then 11. I remember standing in a single-file line of other children patiently and quietly waiting for our turn to look through the eyepiece while we listened to the instructor (for lack of a better term) talk. Times have changed, even though not a great deal of years have passed. I hate to say it also but it's usually my generation I see not being able to control their kids in public.

Edited by NeuWerld (01/01/13 03:15 AM)


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edwincjones
Close Enough
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Reged: 04/10/04

Re: Wild and unruly kids new [Re: Perigny270]
      #5599158 - 01/01/13 07:23 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I'm going to get preachy...
It is not ours to declare outreach a waste of time. We usually don't get to see the results of our efforts. The impact on the wildest kid may not be evident for decades.

We cannot guarantee positive outcomes but can be sure none will occur if we don't try.




Yup!





very true,
and
most kids/adults are respectful and grateful for the view
only a very small % are problems-but those are the ones we remember, and fear

edj


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dpwoos
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 10/18/06

Loc: United States
Re: Wild and unruly kids new [Re: edwincjones]
      #5599194 - 01/01/13 08:33 AM

I think we all have to be careful not to turn one or even a few unfortunate incidents into indicators of some sort of general decline of civilization! As mirror and telescope makers, my sons and I have invested countless hours in our gear. However, one of the main reasons we do this is so that we can show other folks the wonders of the Universe, and I know that I would be diminished if instead I kept them safe at home. Zoos, museums, coffins and garages keep their contents safe, but what kind of life is that?

Happy New Year.


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Achernar
Postmaster
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Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: Mobile, Alabama, USA
Re: Wild and unruly kids new [Re: NeuWerld]
      #5599242 - 01/01/13 09:17 AM

I have been fortunate in that I never had a willfully malicious child on my hands like that. But I have had to keep kids back from the rear of the tube while others are looking into the telescope. The situation you described is one of several reasons why I would never bring a $4,000 telescope to an outreach event, I use my 6 or 10-inch for that so among other things most people can look into the eyepieces seated on a stool. What happened in front of you was a most unfortunate event, I don't blame you for feeling the way you do. At least on the occasions when I am at an outreach event, usually there are teachers and parents who help out. Most of the time, local outreach events are as much for families as school children.

Taras


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Shannon s
sage


Reged: 06/21/09

Loc: Bartow FL.
Re: Wild and unruly kids new [Re: Achernar]
      #5599750 - 01/01/13 02:39 PM

I couldn't do it. I don't like most people.Much less their kids. I am a full blown Introvert. I like to sit by myself in my observatory and observe. I have never been to a star party, I might have to talk to someone. I do however have 2 cats that love to annoy me while I observe. Kudos to you all who have the patience to spread the gospel.

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Skylook123
Postmaster
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Reged: 04/30/05

Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: Wild and unruly kids [Re: Shannon s]
      #5599796 - 01/01/13 03:11 PM

Certainly a valid and IMHO and FWIW, acceptable point of view. I'm lucky I love doing outreach. But we all have our gifts.

I will admit that I enjoy astronomer star parties because I always learn so much, and get my misconceptions corrected. You don't know what you don't know.


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