Unique Telescopes for Kids - May 2022

By: Amelia Goldberg

This is an update on my project to get kids involved in astronomy by giving them their own personal telescope.  I feel they will be more likely to use a telescope that is theirs, one they helped to design and decorate. This is my fourth project and I am very pleased with the outcome.

 

Valentino Dela Cruz is an active, curious and very smart four-year-old. He has been studying the solar system in school and is extremely interested in anything space oriented.

 

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His mom recently joined H.A.S. They were going out to the Dark Site one Saturday night and she put out an email to the List asking if anyone would be out there and if so, could her son watch them set up their telescope. He was interested in seeing how the different types of telescopes were put together. That kind of piqued my interest since I had a 4 1/2” telescope looking for a kid.

Steve and I contacted the mom, Agata, to talk about her son’s interest and I decided that the         4 1/2” should go to him. On February 2nd, they came by the house for us to meet and I showed Valentino and Agata the telescope. I had gotten some color samples so Valentino chose the colors that he wanted. I told him that he needed to think up a name for it so that we’d have the letters for the next time he came over to work on the scope. Valentino decided to name the scope Ven-Ven which is the name of his imaginary friend’s mother. 

On February 23rd they came over again. At first, he was still a little shy but quickly got used to me and we worked together painting the letters and putting them on the scope. 

  

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We talked about how to decorate the telescope and Agata decided that since Valentino is a visual learner, solar system stickers would be a good teaching aid for him. 

 

We got together again on March 14th to finish the telescope by putting the stickers on it. 

 

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The finished project:

 

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We took the telescope outside for Valentino’s first light with his new telescope.  

 

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I showed him how to use the telrad and helped him put the scope on the moon. Then we looked at Sirius.

 

The next week, I got some pictures from Agata of Valentino and his friend, Aurora, using the telescope. He taught Aurora how to use the telrad and in the last photo, she is trying to get Sirius in the telescope. 

 

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Valentino is only four years old and he’s already doing outreach, teaching his friends how to use his telescope. Amazing!

 

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