[meteorite-list] RE: Kids 'n meteorites :-)

From: Frank Prochaska <fprochas_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:37:31 2004
Message-ID: <NDBBICFKNKHAAEEJLDALOEJMCFAA.fprochas_at_premier1.net>

Stu and List:

I started collecting meteorites about 12 years ago. Pretty soon it became
an obsession, as many of you can probably relate to. I started making
presentations at a couple local amateur astronomy clubs, and so on. A
person in one of these audiences got me in touch with an after school
astronomy club for 4th and 5th graders at a school nearby. I was not yet
married or had any children, and didn't really know what to expect. I was
really amazed by their reaction, their attentiveness, the caliber of their
questions, and their perceptiveness and the deductions they made as they
processed everything we talked about. It was really exciting and fun for me
to see the little wheels turning. I did somemore of that for a while.
After several years, I had gotten married and had a couple young children to
raise, and I had less time (and a lot less money) for meteorites. They were
still my little prize collection, but not my obsession. Last Spring, I had
some of my pieces down from the top of the bookshelf, and was surprised that
my older boys didn't remember much about my meteorites. Pretty soon I was
talking non-stop about them again and had been asked to make a presentation
to the oldest's class, a group of 4th graders. What was supposed to be a 45
minute to an hour session turned into an hour and a half as the kids
volunteered to give up their recess period (!) to spend more time asking
questions and handling meteorites. The pile of hand written thank yous and
drawings a couple days later were unbelievable. Over the summer I began
buying another piece here and there for the first time in about 7 - 8 years.
Now I'm officially "hooked" again, I'm afraid to count the pieces I've
bought in the last couple months or total the amount I've spent. Some
pieces I've bought more as 'hand samples' for kids to handle than for my own
benefit. I've been too busy with work to get back to the classrooms so far
this winter, but after the first of the year, I plan to visit more
classrooms, and to make it an annual habit.

If anyone ever wants to spend some time with people just as excited about
meteorites as you are, visit a classroom!

Frank Prochaska



-----Original Message-----
From: STUARTATK_at_aol.com [mailto:STUARTATK@aol.com]
Sent: Monday, December 04, 2000 8:30 PM
To: meteorite-list_at_meteoritecentral.com
Subject: Kids 'n meteorites :-)


Hi all,

I spent a wonderful afternoon at a school here in Cumbria a couple of weeks
ago, as part of my astronomy "Outreach" work, showing slides etc, and part
of
the afternoon's activities involved showing the group - and letting each of
the 80 or so kids hold - my old faithful Canyon Diablo and Sikhote Alin
specimens, plus magnet. Today I received a huge bundle of "thank you"
letters
from the kids, and I thought other List members might be interested in
reading some of their meteorite-related comments... :-)

I've kept the spellings as they were written... honest!

"I enjoyed holding the meteorite it was very heavy and cold." - Natalie, 9

"I liked holding the metteorite because I've never seen or felt one before."
- Andrew, 9

"The best thing when you came was really the Meteorite, it was really
heavy."
- Simon, 8

"The best bit was holding the meatyrite." - Luke, 9

"I enjoyed holding the meteorite too, it was heavier than I thought it would
be." - Olivia, 8

"I liked holding the meteorite, it felt heavy for what it was made up of." -
Emma, 8

"When I held the peace of Astroiud it was cool!" - Samantha, 9

"I liked it when I held the meteorite because I think I will never hold a
piece again." - Nichola, 9

"The slides were most interesting and the piece of rock. But 100 is a bit
too much for me." - Ian, 9

"When I went home I found ten meterites in my garden with a magnet." -
Andrew, 9

(Andrew lives near a railway line, by the way!)


... so all I can do is urge other List members to take a couple of hours to
go into their nearest school and show pieces of their collection to the
kids,
it's very rewarding and great fun too. The "!!!!!!!" look on a kid's face
when they realise they're actually holding Something From Space is just
amazing... and really takes me back to the thrill *I* felt when I acquired
my
first piece.

I'd be very interested in hearing about anyone else's schools Outreach
experiences.

Stu

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Received on Tue 05 Dec 2000 08:16:10 AM PST


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