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    Re: Pointer star question
    From: Norm Goldblatt
    Date: 2013 Feb 5, 17:50 -0800

    I learned a lot too, Mark. One often does from a straightforward question. I,too,have been asked to do a night sky evening with 8 yr olds in a few weeks and am looking forward to it. One must not forget that these kids might not even know, yet, what NORTH IS, much less WHERE it is.

    And the short attention span is another factor, so they need to be 'primed' inside and then out into the darkness.

    My idea is to ask them which way to Alaska. That will raise a lot of interesting thought and hopefully we'll work out that it's NORTH. So, then, inside, I ask them to start walking toward Alaska, INSIDE. I think they'll soon realize that they need some reference. So, out we go and learn a couple of constellations and then the North Star.
    I'm a little touchy about remembering star names, ever since seeing the wonderful movie "Infinity". Feynman is out in the woods with his father. He sees a bird and asks, What kind of bird is that?" His dad responds that it's much more important to know about birds than to know their names.
    And laser pointers? That's a SURE way of distracting cats and children. They become MUCH more interested in the laser. That's always a 'fun' problem.
    Norm
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