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anonguest

Giving A Talk To A Beavers Group

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As a one time keen amateur astronomer I have been asked by a friend and his wife to give a 'presentation' to their childs Beavers (Scouts for little nippers!) to go toward helping them get their 'Astronomy' badge.

The problem/worry I have is knowing how to go about this. What 'level' to pitch the talk/presentation at, what content to use, etc.

The only thing I know in advance is that at that age (about 7-ish) kids are very 'visual'.

At present the info I have to go on is a bit vague, but would be expected to, somehow, introduce the concept of the star constellations (and obviously with certain 'practical' aspects, such as recognising and using the Pole star when appropriate) - and get them to learn the names of the planets and distinguish them from ordinary stars in the sky. Als0, possibly somehow get them to see the Moon through a modest telescope and talk about some current space mission even.

Audio-visual resources (e.g large screen TV) are likely to be at my disposal.

The best advice I can get, I am guessing, is from Primary school teachers? or anyone with professional training/experience in instructing young children. Anyone such here? Able to point me towards some recommended websites/resources?

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Lots of pictures of interesting things, and stuff they can do. Given that they are 7, they aren't going to be ready for heavyweight astrophysics. Focus on some simple things:

1) Stars are an unimaginable distance away. Do the whole "if the sun was a grain of sand, the nearest star is on the other side of the world" explanation.

2) Light years - the light takes time to travel. If the sun switched off we wouldn't know for 8 minutes...

3) Some pictures you have taken "I took these in my back garden"....

4) If you still have a telescope - kit is always good

5) Basic constellations - some simple stuff that they can see on a clear evening. Give them a list to tick off.

6) Simple ipad tools - my kids love Starwalk, cost a few quid.

if my kids came back knowing all that, I would be chuffed.

This being the OT board, I will get in with the first "invite them into your shed to see your, er, big telescope".

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Lots of pictures of interesting things, and stuff they can do. Given that they are 7, they aren't going to be ready for heavyweight astrophysics. Focus on some simple things:

1) Stars are an unimaginable distance away. Do the whole "if the sun was a grain of sand, the nearest star is on the other side of the world" explanation.

2) Light years - the light takes time to travel. If the sun switched off we wouldn't know for 8 minutes...

3) Some pictures you have taken "I took these in my back garden"....

4) If you still have a telescope - kit is always good

5) Basic constellations - some simple stuff that they can see on a clear evening. Give them a list to tick off.

6) Simple ipad tools - my kids love Starwalk, cost a few quid.

if my kids came back knowing all that, I would be chuffed.

This being the OT board, I will get in with the first "invite them into your shed to see your, er, big telescope".

Thanks

and for the, now seemingly obligatory, double entendre that every OT thread must have. LOL

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Don't know yet. Only just been told about this/asked to help out. So specific info is thin on the ground at the moment. As good friends I'm, in principle, happy to help out if I can.

EDIT UPDATE: just looked at that link - and I guess it is probably this one

https://members.scouts.org.uk/supportresources/4199/space-activity-badge/?cat=11,18,81&moduleID=10

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Thanks

and for the, now seemingly obligatory, double entendre that every OT thread must have. LOL

Nope, can't think of one for this thread.

Orion always gets a good reception because of the detail - belt and sword - and how impressive its is. The frosty glories of Orion.

Talk slowly (always a good tip!) and don't cover too much.

That the sun is a star is always a good one.

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What you describe in the OP is pretty much what is covered in an Usbourne Astronomy dating from the early 80s that my 6yr old loves. Probably the only other topic in there is the origin of the universe.

So it doesn't look like too far away from the right pitch.

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Planets and moons might be a good place to put a lot of the emphasis, lots of real pictures available instead of just dots and blobs.

Make it interactive as well probably, don't just stand up in front of them and talk whilst they sit quietly.

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Why not get Stellarium on your computer, and save the cost of a telescope, and getting cold?

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Thanks.

Things really have changed since 'my day' of amateur astro. Looks very useful.

Stellarium is very useful!

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Just lie to them. They're too young to be any the wiser.

Point to random stars and tell them that is where the teletubbies live.

I'm pretty sure your trousers come off, before they see your "telescope"! :blink: God has strange Angels, but I think you might be working for the wrong team.

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I used to be a Beaver Scout Leader and I'd say keep it simple and short. I would say short interesting info that they can easily retain makes it more fun than information overload for 6 & 7 year olds. You can leave a telescope out so they can each have a turn during the evening with you on hand to talk about what they see rather than them all rushing to look during your talk.

Ask your friend how long she wants the presentation to last which will help you plan and perhaps what else she intends to do that evening on the subject to tie your talk in with that. For example we always did a practical task with the kids and a game which we tried to tie in with the topic of the week.

I'm sure they'll love it.

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Just try not to laugh out loud every time someone mentions the word beaver.

More than I could manage when my kids used to go.

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You could go throug the phases of stellar evolution, leading to possible supernovae and associated remnants which are exciting. Could talk about the end point for earth being consumed by the expanding dying sun.

Good idea.

Also. tell them about mass extinction events that occur when asteroids unexpectedly hit us.

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