Sky Gazing: A Guide to Enjoying Astronomy with Children
Communicating science to children is about more than using small words, short sentences, and cute pictures. It’s also important to be developmentally appropriate, engaging, and relatable. In this talk, Meg will take you through her circuitous journey from college instructor to author, with practical advice for anyone who wants to communicate complex topics to children, whether in person or through writing. She’ll also read from her book, Sky Gazing. She’ll provide plenty of advice about observing the sky with kids, the best first telescope (hint: it’s a pair of binoculars), and what’s coming up in the late spring sky.
ABOUT MEG: Meg Lysaght Thacher was a Maria Mitchell Association Astronomy Intern in the summer of 1986, when students added to the observatory plate collection and studied variable stars. Her very first publication came out of the internship: “Updated elements for IY Cygni,” in the winter 1986 Journal of the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO). After graduating from Carleton College, she went on to use her photographic plate skills as an intern at the AAVSO, then got a master’s degree from Iowa State University. She is currently the senior laboratory instructor for Smith College’s astronomy department, the academic director for Smith’s Summer Science & Engineering Program, and a children’s writer. She has written 30 articles for kids’ nonfiction magazines and three books. Her book Sky Gazing: a guide to the Moon, Sun, planets, stars, eclipses, constellations received a starred review in School Library Journal and is the winner of a Nautilus Silver Award and the 2022 AAAS/Subaru prize for excellence in children’s science books (hands-on category).