Turn Your Vision Into Reality
Join the Curiosity Family by Starting Your Own Branch!
Do you want to start your own astronomy club, but you aren't quite sure where to start? If you would like free one-on-one counseling on starting a club in your school or community, or would like help planning creative lessons and games for your team, leave your information below and we'll be in touch to help you along your journey! We should be able to get back to you within 48 hours or less!
Ideas to Get You Started
Here, we've listed a few astronomy hot-topics to get you thinking about what you may wish to cover in your own local club!
Stars are so important to the galaxies in which they reside, that from Earth, we often classify a galaxy by a notable cluster of stars located within it(ex. Andromeda, named after a constellation hosting many stars from the galaxy). Stars are so plentiful and active in the universe, that it is likely astronomers will never run out of things to discover from them. This applies to your club as well: if you wanted, you could likely study ONLY stars, and it would never get boring! With your members, explore how stars are born, how they spend their lives, and the many ways in which they meet their end. Discuss the different types of stars, and how to identify them in the sky(if you have access to a telescope, put the new skill to the test)! Dive into the sun, and how our star was ideal for the ultimate development of life on this planet! The possibilities are endless!
THE SOLAR SYSTEM
No better place to introduce your club members to astronomy with than our own stellar neighborhood! Explore Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars: terrestrial worlds with rocky surfaces, active geology, reasonable sizes, and plenty of precious and valuable metals! Then venture out to Jupiter and Saturn: gas giants composed of only a few elements, serving as an anchor for over 60 moons each! After that, travel all the way to the barely-explored ice giants, Uranus and Neptune, where temperatures are so low that you'd be hard pressed to find anything that hasn't been frozen over. Finally, teach your members the difference between comets, meteors, and asteroids, and describe how each play a role in our small corner of the Milky Way!
If your club is set to work with older students, diving into the physics behind the astronomy topics they know and love is sure to solidify their interest in the field, and to give them a newfound appreciation for the subject. Look into gravity, and how it plays into the dynamic between all objects in the universe. Dive into black holes even further, and discover their true nature. Discuss Einstein's theories of relativity, and give examples as to how to observe them in action. Finally, discuss the future of the universe, examining its expansion, and explaining how we can tell!
Space travel tends to be what attracts a lot of people to learning about astronomy in the first place, and it's easy to see why! There is a whole lot of history to dive into with space travel, no matter what aspect you prefer to focus on. If you're interested in unmanned, robotic missions, definitely take some time to talk about the moon and Mars rovers(including our namesake, the Curiosity rover), some of the probes sent to Jupiter and Saturn(like Cassini or Juno), the Voyager probes which have now travelled further from the Earth than any other man made object, or the many orbiting telescopes that allow us to grasp the universe in ways otherwise impossible! If you're interested in the human side, take a look at the early Soviet and American space programs, and how the space race played out. Research what's going on now, and what the future may hold(missions to Mars, Titan, and beyond)!
Observational astronomy is often what first comes to one's mind when they envision an astronomy club! Before you take to the skies, teach your members about the physics of light, and how we are able to judge distances and sizes of far away objects by analyzing wavelength behavior. Learn about how telescopes function, and - more importantly - how to use them. Teach yourself and your members to read star charts, and download some free ones to begin training your eye to find certain constellations. Discuss how early astronomers were able to shape our understanding of the universe today, despite having only limited technology at their disposal!
For monthly printable star charts, visit the following website...
DISCUSS THE BIG QUESTIONS: THE UNIVERSE AROUND US
Take some time to have meaningful discussions with your team about astronomy's hottest topics! Some questions that you could have fun exploring include...
- How did the universe begin?
- What did the early universe look like?
- Is it possible that parallel universes exist?
- Will interstellar travel ever be feasible for humanity? How so?
- Could there be intelligent life on other worlds? Are we looking?
- Is time travel theoretically possible?
- What is String Theory, and what evidence is there to support it?
... and any more questions your group may have!