The Woodward News

Local News

July 7, 2012

Overnight workshop seeks to make astonomy accessible

Woodward, Okla. — FREEDOM - An overnight astronomy workshop will soon be held at the observatory at the Selman Living Laboratory.

The workshop will begin July 23 at 2 p.m. and end July 24 at 11 a.m.  The workshop is free but attendees are responsible for the cost of meals and travel to and from the observatory.  However, overnight lodging will be provided.

Steven Maier, Department of Natural Science Chair at NWOSU in Alva, said the motivation for doing this is to demonstrate that something like astronomy is accessible.

"Parents, youth leaders and teachers will walk away with the know-how on how to lead a star party of their own and make it accessible to their children, students or organization," Maier said.

The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), which is funding the event, is in favor of helping out with science literacy and making science accessible, he said.

Participants will learn how to construct their own telescope and keep it, learn how to locate constellations and use an astronomy reference book they can keep.

The workshop will also feature a computer driven, 12-inch Meade telescope that will be used for spotting celestial objects including deep sky objects. This is the main scope at the observatory and is housed in a weatherproof dome.

There will also be several 10-inch Dobsonian telescopes that will be available for use in smaller groups.

During a section of the workshop there will be a "free forum" where participants find their own objects to view and will get help identifying what they're looking at he said.

Classroom activities will also be included. Maier said there will be plenty activities to do even if it is cloudy or rainy.

The workshop is open to the public, but you must register in advance as the workshop is only prepared to accommodate 10 to 15 people.

Maier said there is even a father-son group that has already registered.

To register contact Steven Maier at (580) 327-8562 or


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