Sci-Port Discovery Center proved to the children (and parents) of Red River that you can see more in the dark, once your eyes acclimate to the dark. That was the adventure presented on Monday afternoon by the Red River Parish Library.
Children’s Librarian Kala Sims introduced Kenneth Smith from Sci-Port. He had brought their portable planetarium and set it up in the library’s activity room. Kids and parents entered through a crawl tunnel into a large, but very dark, opening. Once inside everyone was given a few minutes for their eyes to get used to the dark.
Then the show began. Smith introduced the planets and stars visible in the sky. His portable planetarium had a projector that could show movement of the stars with the hours or the seasons. Actually Smith explained that the stars are not moving but the Earth is rotating on its axis, which makes them appear to change position. And Smith explained why the North Star never moved when the other stars did.
The kids were asked about various constellations. Smith explained about the naming of the stars and constellations for the earthly things they resembled. He also explained that ancient peoples had vivid imaginations when they projected animals and ancient gods onto the starry night.
Then came the projection of those animals and people onto the sky. At that point the kids could see how the few stars in Orion’s belt, for example, could represent Orion himself. They found the big and little dipper and many other familiar sights in our sky.
There was a very large turnout for this exciting presentation. So large that there were two shows. While half of the kids and parents were inside the planetarium, the other half were getting a lesson in the phases of the moon by Kala Sims. She used Oreo cookies to demonstrate the phases off the moon. Go and ask Kala for yourself if you don’t believe there is a relation.
The great thing about using Oreos is that after the demonstrations were complete the kids got to eat them.
It is all part of the Library’s Summer Reading Program “A Universe of Stories.” Each Monday at 2:00 pm there is a special feature and on Thursday at 2:00 pm there are games and crafts. Next Monday Frank and Tammy Chaisson will present Magical Entertainment. Puppets and Magic. What kid doesn’t love that?