Ignite Your Child’s Curiosity

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The Cradle of Aviation Museum hosts activities during school break

Hands-on activities are a staple of the Cradle of Aviation Museum. (Contributed Photo)

Between Monday, April 22, and Friday, April 26, the Cradle of Aviation Museum and Education Center in Garden City will celebrate its 17th annual Astronomy & Space Week, featuring hands-on science experiments, a gallery of space artifacts and a live show for all ages.

Studies show that kids who visit museums demonstrate stronger critical thinking skills, display higher levels of social tolerance, exhibit greater historical empathy and develop a taste for museums and cultural institutions. Museum visits also excite students about school subjects and is a great way to keep kids learning during school breaks.

Importance of Astronomy

While learning, children will be surrounded by exhibits showing the history of flight and space exploration. (Photo by Frank Rizzo)

Planetarium Education Coordinator Kerri Kiker affirmed that, “Learning about astronomy is important to kids because it gives them a sense of place in the universe. It makes them feel like a global citizen, a part of the world and gives them a sense of responsibility for our planet and how their decisions impact more than just themselves.”

Activities include the following:

April 22—Earth Day: Hands-on science zones from noon to 4 p.m, in Atrium. Free with museum admission. Earth is the only ocean planet in the solar system. Take part in three experiments that show how important water is to life on earth: Rising Seas—what happens when the ice caps melt?; Land Cover—see how water change our landscape; What’s in Water?—discover why all water isn’t the same.

April 24—Astronomy & Space Day: Astronomy and telescopes from noon to 4 p.m. in the Atrium. Free with Museum admission. The Amateur Observer’s Society (AOS) and other local astronomy clubs will be here to help celebrate with solar telescopes, digitarium programs (star lab) and demos.

April 24—Astronomy & Space Day: Hands-on science zones from noon to 4 p.m, in Atrium. Free with museum admission. Three hands-on science activities that will grow one’s understanding of the expanding universe: Space Guess Quest—test your knowledge of celestial objects; Static Electricity—Build an electroscope and test for invisible forces; and Expanding Universe—See how the universe is ever expanding.

April 24—Astronomy & Space Day: Hands-on science zones. Plaza Theatrical Productions presents “Awesome Allie: First Kid Astronaut” live onstage at 1 and 3 p.m. in the Dome Theater. Separate admission required. Live musical theater with audience participation.

Daily, April 22-26

Make and Take Astronomy and Space Activities. Noon to 4 p.m. in the Atrium. Free with museum admission. Create puzzles of the lunar and command modules that went to the moon. Create a star wheel to help locate the constellations in the night sky. Trace the stars and find out if you see what they saw centuries ago. Put together a book of Latin American constellations

Space: A Journey to Our Future and Apollo Artifacts Exhibit, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Space Gallery. Free with museum admission. This immersive exhibit takes you from the dawn of man’s earliest visions of space exploration to the heroic achievements of the past, the unfolding discoveries of today, and the frontiers of the universe that lie ahead. Paired with the large collection of Apollo artifacts, it will be on exhibit through August 2019.

The Cradle of Aviation Museum and Education Center is home to over 75 planes and spacecraft representing over 100 years of aviation history and Long Island’s only Giant Screen Dome Theater. Currently, the museum is celebrating  “Countdown to Apollo at 50” sponsored by the Robert D.L. Gardiner Foundation, showcasing Long Island and Grumman’s significant role in the Apollo program. The Museum was recently recognized and listed on New York State’s National Register of Historic Places as a significant part of American history. The museum is located on Museum Row, Charles Lindbergh Blvd., in East Garden City. For more information call 516-572-4111 or visit www.cradleofaviation.org.

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