Check out a telescope

Friday, October 19, 2012

Shhhh, don’t tell anybody, but it’s science and we all know how scary science is.

What is it? It’s the wonderful new program sponsored by the New Hampshire Astronomical Society to provide telescopes to several libraries in the state, including Bedford’s.

Library patrons can take the telescope home for two weeks. Home. As if it were a book.

We see this as a great opportunity to get kids interested in science, something that is not as attractive in concept as it is in practice. Try telling a young person to stop texting his friends because the family is going to go out into the night and look at the heavens. The reaction isn’t going to be all that positive.

But get that kid doing it and things could change drastically. It’s a whole new world (s) out there in the cosmos and neither Little Johnny nor Little Jenny has thought much about it because, at least in part, they haven’t been encouraged to think about it. Why not? Because we, their parents, are not scientifically inclined. Why not? Because our schools don’t pay enough attention to the sciences. Why not? Because they know it’s difficult to get kids interested, they know it’s difficult to convince parents that science is important, and teachers and administrators get tired of swimming against the tide.

But two weeks with a telescope at home can change everything for a kid or two. Or maybe 200, who knows? It certainly is worth a try and thanks to the New Hampshire Astronomical Society, parents and kids in Bedford will be able to do it.

Tell the kids that John Carter is up there somewhere. Maybe.

Any library patron can borrow the telescope, so even if you’re long out of school, you should take the opportunity to check out the heavens.

Hey, Luke Skywalker is out there somewhere. Maybe.

We love this program. Kudos to the New Hampshire Astronomical Society and to the Bedford library.

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