Diane Peltz – Contributing Writer
Macon County Public Library presented a Star Party on Saturday, April 13, at the Franklin Library. The Star Party is an official event of the 2019 North Carolina Science Festival. During this 7th annual Statewide Star Party, astronomy clubs, state and local parks, universities, planetariums, science centers, nature centers, and libraries all hosted public skywatching sessions at more than 50 sites across the state last weekend. About 5,000 visitors and 200 STEM professionals and volunteers participated in the event.
This year’s Star Party theme was “The Moon and Beyond” in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first humans to walk on the moon. Hosts led moon-observing and hands-on activities from the Star Party kit to help visitors explore all things lunar.
The Star Party included several activities: Stellar Story Time, Sizing up the Moon, Craters on the Moon, plus opportunities to observe the moon through telescopes and binoculars, make a solar system necklace, create structures like an astronaut, and enjoy some moon snacks.
Both children and adults took part in the event at the Macon County Library. Each room in the library was filled with manipulatives for children and adults to build space-related objects. In one room were baskets of small red and orange plastic balls with several tiny holes in them where you could attach a bendable tube. Another room held magnet type blocks where children were building many different types of structures. A solar system necklace awaited those who were interested in the planets. Colored beads represented distance from the sun and cut out shapes of each planet were attached to lanyards to complete the necklace. A prize giveaway culminated the event.
As an official 2019 North Carolina Science Festival event, Macon County Public Library Star Party was among hundreds of community-based events that are showcasing STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) activities for the citizens of North Carolina.
For more information, visit www.ncsciencefestival.org.