Archive for the ‘Past Programs’ Category

Starry Nights

Produced by the Florida Museum, University of Florida Astronomy Department, Santa Fe College Astronomy, Florida Space Grant Consortium and Alachua Astronomy Club, Starry Night is a free event full of activities for the entire family. This night of inter-planetary adventure gives visitors a chance to speak with expert astronomers, learn about the tools they use and see rocks from space. Attendees can build their own telescope, talk to an astronomer, meet an astronaut, win door prizes and other free gifts and more!

This year’s Starry Night is a part of the International Year of Astronomy, a yearlong celebration of astronomy and its impact on society and culture. The goal of the international celebration is to stimulate worldwide interest in astronomy and science, especially among young people. It also commemorates the 400th anniversary of the first use of a telescope by Galileo Galilei.

Starry Night visitors will have the opportunity to build their own “Galileoscope,” a working telescope and the cornerstone project of the International Year of Astronomy. Workshops are free and available to the first 50 visitors who register. Registration will begin at 5 p.m.

As visitors participate in different space-themed activities, they can earn stamps for their “Passport to the Universe.” Visit the portable planetarium for a spectacular display of the universe as seen from Earth, or check out the Astro Wall to see a moonscape in 3-D.

At 6 and 7 p.m., retired U.S. Navy Capt. and former NASA astronaut Winston E. Scott will share about his time in orbit and experience working on the Hubble telescope. Scott, dean of the Florida Institute of Technology College of Aeronautics in Melbourne, will answer questions and sign copies of his book, “Reflections from Earth Orbit,” following his talks. The book will be available for purchase in the museum gift shop.

This event is also sponsored by the Florida Space Grant Consortium and the GE Foundation.
For more information visit or call 352-273-2063.

Schedule of Events

Meet an Astronaut! – 6 and 7 p.m. Capt. Winston Scott will share stories of his life as an astronaut and his adventures in space. Ask him a question and enter the book raffle afterward. Scott will also sign copies of his 2005 book, “Reflections from Earth Orbit.”
The Science of Space – 5:30, 6:30, 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. Join UF astronomers as they delve into popular astronomy topics. Presentations will last 15 minutes followed by questions and an amazing 3-D show with the Astro Wall.

Build a Telescope – 5:15, 6:15, 7:15 and 8:15 p.m. Register at the front desk for a spot in one of these one-hour workshops. Participants 10 years and older will create their own telescope perfect for backyard stargazing. NOTE: Tripod is necessary for home use of telescope, and is not provided.

Arts and Crafts – 5-8 p.m. Learn about space with fun crafts and activities!

6:45 p.m. – “Galileo Gainesville” Experience the life and times of Galileo Galilei, as told through the Gainesville theatre group, Star Dust.

6 – 8 p.m. A quartet from the Gainesville Chamber Orchestra will entertain with “The Music of the Planets,” excerpts from their upcoming spring show.

The following demonstrations and activities are ongoing from 5-10 p.m.:

Solar Viewing and Stargazing – See celestial bodies with the help of professional and hobbyist astronomers.

Passport to the Universe – Visit the demonstrations and activities to collect stamps and fill the “Passport to the Universe.”

Door Prizes – Receive a ticket for a chance to win a fantastic astronomy prize! Door prize contest entry is free with event attendance.

Portable Planetarium Show (approx. every 20 minutes) – Enjoy the wonders of the constellations and the solar system with this fun and exciting show!

Ask an Astronomer – Want to know more about the science behind the stars? Ask a professional astronomer!

Tools We Use – Find out about the fascinating and unusual tools that astronomers use to study the universe.

The Gran Telescopio Canarias and “A History of the Telescope” – Investigate the science and technology that created the world’s largest telescope, the Gran Telescopio Canarias.
Discover the Invisible Universe – Listen to radio waves emitted by the Milky Way using the Radio Jove low frequency radio telescope. Learn how you can use this equipment to listen to radio waves from Jupiter and the Sun.

Space Rocks – Visit with a Santa Fe College astronomer and view SFC’s 70-pound meteorite, the Campo del Cielo. Discover the oddities of rocks from space and find out how they differ from Earth rocks!

Tim Malles Space Art – See an exhibition of space art by local artist Tim Malles.
Pico Satellites – Learn about the development of small satellites by building a K’nex model.

Aerospace Digital Mentoring Program

The program funded by FSGC’s Aerospace Workforce Development Award and implemented by Florida Space Research Institute (FSRI) is designed to provide high school students who have a space-related research project (in addition to physics, aerodynamics, and other traditional aerospace topics, research can be in biotechnology, life science, botany, or another not-obvious discipline, if there is a potential space-based application or research connection) with mentoring by an adult uniquely qualified in the students area of interest. Potential mentors include career aerospace engineers, astronauts, university professors/researchers, and technical specialists.

The students communication with the mentor is primarily accomplished via FSRIs Advanced Learning Environment (ALE) online web board capabilities, however, email, telephone, and personal contact could also used depending on the nature of the students research project and the desires/resources of the participants. The ALEs online space science and pre-engineering courses can also be used as a resource.The program is designed to have a duration of approximately 6 months. The FSRI staff will have oversight of the program and monitor both mentees and mentors for levels of participation, resource requirements (such as private online conferences), and internet/contact safety practices.

All participants in the program are required to make a firm commitment to participate in the program for its duration. Those who leave the program for any reason other than extenuating circumstances will not be eligible to participate in FSRI/ALE programs in the future.Participants will be expected to spend a minimum of 15 minutes each week communicating (emailing, posting to the web board, etc.) with their mentor/mentee. Additional time spent on the program is up to the preferences of individual mentors and mentees and the requirements of the research project.

The FSGC-FSRI Aerospace Digital Mentoring Program is designed to provide students with resources they would otherwise be unable to access and advanced insight into and assistance with their research projects. The purpose of the program is to increase student interest in science and technology education and careers.

FSGC-FSRI is currently recruiting mentees through contacts within the Florida Department of Education. Once mentees have been identified, FSRI will quickly attempt to match them with appropriate mentors.

If you are a school research instructor or a student with a school-approved research project pertaining to space (as described above) who would like to be a part of the Mentoring program or a potential mentor with experience to share, please contact us at or call 1-866-FSRI-ALE (377-4253).

For additional details, please dont hesitate to contact Tom Cavanagh at

Aerospace Educators Program

This program has been discontinued

The Aerospace Education Program is designed to provide aerospace education experiences for students that will motivate them to become engaged in the study of science, mathematics, engineering, and/or technology. This program will provide supplementary funds for equipment and supplies to enable teachers to implement aerospace education projects in their school. It is assumed that the project(s) will be aligned with the Sunshine State Standards.

All K-12 teachers who will be teaching in Florida during the 2007-2008 school year are eligible to participate in this program. A teacher may propose alone or as a member of a team of teachers.

The FSGC has allocated $5,000 for this program. Individual grants should not exceed $500. These funds may be used for any valid expenses related to curriculum materials and supplies. These funds are not to be used to cover faculty salaries or for student tuition. Up to $100 of the funds may be used for travel to the FAST annual meeting (or other similar gathering) to present the program results to other interested teachers. Teachers who were awarded funds last year under this program may submit a proposal to continue with their funded project, but can only request an amount necessary to replace the consumables.

Brevard Community College



Educators Resource Center

The purpose of a NASA Educator Resource Center (ERC) is to help teachers learn about and use NASA’s educational resources. The ERCs provide educators with demonstrations of educational technologies such as NASA educational Web sites and NASA Television. ERCs provide inservice and preservice training utilizing NASA instructional products. Educators also have the opportunity to preview, copy, and receive NASA instructional products.

The ERC at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is managed by the Florida Space Grant Consortium.  FSGC’s ERC and Exploration Station activities reach a significant number of NASA’s target audience. In 2006, this included 6,600 teachers, 20,400 students, and 6,700 public visitors. 2007 visitors included 8,248 teachers, 18,328 students, and 8,698 from the general public. The partnership supported 1,800 teacher workshop participants.

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