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'My Sky' exhibit indulges exploration of universe

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Children will soon have a new way of expanding their knowledge of the Sun, Moon and Stars when Boston Children’s Museum unveils My Sky, a traveling exhibit focusing on astronomical science, on Saturday, July 26. Funded by NASA, the exhibit is a collaboration between the Boston Children's Museum and Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.

Designed specifically for children ages 5 to 10 years, My Sky will offer an immersive experience that allows them to indulge their love of the universe. Accompanied by its own website at www.myskyexhibit.org, the interactive exhibit will engage parents and children through resources that allow them to explore and learn more about the universe. In particular, My Sky will promote the STEM skills such as observation, pattern recognition, prediction, estimation, and creative thinking that are critical in science education.

The My Sky exhibit includes the 'skate park', the 'child's room' and the' backyard'. In the skate park, children can observe captivating images of the Sun taken by Solar Dynamic Observatory satellites and learn more about solar events such as eclipses, solar tornados and flares. They can also watch movies that show the Sun 'in action,' rotating, undulating and ejecting matter. The child's room invites visitors to look for constellations and explore the Moon. Children will be fascinated by how astrophysicist Wanda Diaz Merced analyzes data by turning numbers into music to discover patterns in the sounds. In the backyard, the highlight is a 14-foot-diameter dome with a topographically accurate model of the Moon. Here, families can investigate the far side of the Moon and learn how the geographical features of the Moon are similar to those on Earth.

“The My Sky exhibition is so important because astronomy is an ideal vehicle for parents and children to experience wonder and curiosity together,” says Mary Dussault, ‎Science Education Program Manager at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. “It's been our great pleasure working with the team from Boston Children's Museum. The project combined the Museum’s expertise in childhood development and the creation of experiential learning environments with the resources of SAO's scientists and science educators. It's exciting to see the results of this partnership brought to life in the My Sky exhibition!”

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