Feature

White House to Host Science and Astronomy Night for Students
10.06.09
 
White House with stars in the sky THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of Media Affairs


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 6, 2009

WASHINGTON – Local middle school students will have an opportunity to learn about the solar system and the vast universe beyond during an Astronomy Night event on the White House South Lawn at 8 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, Oct 7. The White House will host 150 local students to star gaze and conduct hands-on experiments with astronomers from across the country. President Obama will speak about the importance of science, engineering and math education and his support for astronomy’s capacity to promote a greater awareness of our place in the universe, expand human knowledge and inspire the next generation of explorers.

The event, produced in close collaboration with NASA and with the help of several astronomy organizations across the country, will provide an opportunity for students to learn more about the cosmos as they view stars and other celestial objects through telescopes. More than 20 telescopes of various types will be arranged on the lawn for observing Jupiter, the moon and selected stars. Activities will include interactive presentations, scale models of the solar system and science presentations with samples of meteorites and lunar rocks. NASA's Museum Alliance, a consortium of museums, science centers and planetariums will conduct activities worldwide to coincide with the White House event.

The White House event is part of the International Year of Astronomy, a global celebration of its contributions to society and culture. More than 135 countries will host events and activities to mark the 400th anniversary of Galileo's first astronomical observations with a telescope.

The event will be live-streamed at WhiteHouse.gov, and in addition there will be a live video chat beforehand with Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, with questions taken via Facebook and Twitter. Wednesday’s event will also be carried on NASA Television's public and education channels beginning at 8 p.m. EDT.