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Community Telescope Ambassadors

Join us in exploring the Universe!

The Adler and Chicago Public Library are building teen cohorts to delve into telescope topics and activities. Teens will be empowered to facilitate telescope viewings and activities at their local libraries. Identified Chicago Public Library branches are: West Englewood, Humboldt Park, Richard M. Daley, Chinatown, and Wrightwood-Ashburn. Introductory sessions at these branches began in January 2016 and continued through Spring 2016.

This program has several elements:

  • Program staff will…
    • identify cohorts of teens at 5 Chicago Public Library branches with existing teen librarians and robust teen programs (targeting 25 teens, total)
    • Train teens in STEM topics such as light, color, optics, the Moon, and how to operate telescopes
  • Teens will…
    • create digital assets to help library staff learn to use telescope/light/optics check-out kit materials
    • plan and execute community observing events at their library branches (one per identified branch as a pilot)
      • Scheduled observing events:
        • Humboldt Park (just north of Little Cubs Field, just east of Luis Munoz Marin Drive): Fall 2016, date TBD (original 2 dates rescheduled due to cloudy weather)
        • Richard M. Daley Library: Tuesday, May 17, 2016, 6 pm – 7:30 pm
        • Wrightwood-Ashburn Library: Fall 2016, date TBD (original date rescheduled due to cloudy weather)
        • West Englewood Library: Monday, June 27, 2016, starting at 4:30 pm
        • Chinatown Library: Saturday, October 8, 2016, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

The program has permanently placed 5 six-inch diameter reflector telescopes and related equipment at the library branches for programming use by teens for their community observing programs.

Check out photos from our observing night at Richard M. Daley Library on May 17, 2016:

Families at Richard M. Daley Library in Chicago look through a reflector telescope to safely view the Sun. A special cap on the front of the telescope blocks most of the Sun's light, making the Sun safe to see.

Families at Richard M. Daley Library in Chicago look through a reflector telescope to safely view the Sun.

Three students at Richard M. Daley Library model their Community Telescope Ambassador t-shirts that they designed themselves. The boy on the left sits on a stool with his arms folded, a boy on the right stands in front of a pillar with his arms behind his back, and a girl in the middle leans against the pillar.

Three students at Richard M. Daley Library model their Community Telescope Ambassador t-shirts that they designed themselves!

The Sun, as photographed using the telescope at Richard M. Daley Library on May 17, 2016 using the special solar filter that allows safe views of the Sun to happen. The Sun appears as a large disc, and a prominent dark sunspot can be seen near the top-right of the Sun. The Sunspot spans a few degrees on the face of the Sun.

The Sun, as photographed using the telescope at Richard M. Daley Library on May 17, 2016 using the special solar filter that allows safe views of the Sun to happen.

   

 

The Moon as photographed through the telescope at Richard M. Daley Library on May 17, 2016.

The Moon as photographed through the telescope at Richard M. Daley Library on May 17, 2016.

 

Lead Organization:
Adler Planetarium

Partner Organizations:
Chicago Public Library

Project Tags:
2015 Round 2 RFP, Ultimate Onramps