When many of today’s parents were children, the moments that the space shuttle took off for another adventure in the stars was a moment that deserved undivided attention.
When many of today’s parents were children, the moments that the space shuttle took off for another adventure in the stars was a moment that deserved undivided attention.Teachers wheeled in television sets on rickety carts so that their students could take part in that thrilling countdown with the announcers in Florida.Boys and girls would sit at their desks and dream of one day flying through the darkness or walking on the moon.The last frontier was just waiting to be explored, in all its beautiful vastness and untapped potential.Ahead lies a great many opportunities for school aged children to tap into the excitement of exploration and the search for new knowledge.
Over the last decade, advancements in robotic spacecraft missions and development of advanced ground based observatories have opened the public to a vast treasure trove of new and exciting discoveries. Rovers on Mars as well as orbiting spacecraft have given us the closest look humans have ever had into the wonders the red planet. The Casini mission has sent home wondrous images of Saturn and its many moons. New missions promise to return great perspectives on asteroids that orbit our sun, as well as space based telescopes giving astronomers a new view into the primordial universe. Most exciting of these advances just might be the discovery of many planets orbiting star systems out side of our own solar system, providing some anticipation of the potential for discovering life elseware in the universe in our lifetime.
One children’s author is doing her part to reignite the imagination of young learners when it comes to exploring the vast expanses of our planets and beyond.In her third book of the Queen Vernita series, Queen Vernita Meets Sir HeathyBean the Astronomer, Dawn Menge teams up with Heath Rhoades and shares wonderful details about each of the planets, the sun, the moon, comets and asteroids on each page of her beautifully illustrated book.Readers will join Queen Vernita and her guests as they spend an entire year learning about the world of astronomy and are then encouraged to share what they have discovered with others.
I hope they are excited about space travel - unfortunately, a lot of children and teens of the last twenty-odd years have been so overstimulated with media and computer/gaming technology, and now with texting and talking on cell phones, I worry too many, not all, have little time or interest for the really important subjects such as science, social issues, philosophy.