First graders observe moon, stars, planets and constellations on planetarium trip

By Minnie Lonetree

The Black River Falls summer youth program took 23 first graders to the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point Planetarium Observatory to have a new fun experience of the moon, stars, planets, constellations. This program was for first graders who took part in the ‘Magic Sky’ at the facility.
Home School Coordinator Bev Baneck thought it would be a good experience for the kids to learn and engage with astronomy.
Arriving to the planetarium building in Stevens Point, Allen Blocher, the instructor, introduced himself to the kids, telling important information about the building, why the seats were set up towards the ceiling, and why there was a big white dome that looked like a “white upside down bowl.”
During the show, Allen had fun games, songs, stories, and characters to share with the kids to have fun and for them to get interested in. After the planetarium show, he asked the kids their favorite part and why they liked it.
“I loved the stars and how they moved around,” Alyssa Rosa said. Others loved and had their parts they’ve liked about the planetarium.
“When I was at the planetarium I blew in the sky and it made clouds,” Malakai Lopez said.
“The best part of the planetarium was when the stars shined up and made pictures of animals. I saw a bear, birds flying and the sun. The sun is a star,” Carter Yellowbank said.
“The planetarium instructor engaged our native youth with songs, they blew up in the sky and made clouds, they had lines to outline the constellations,” Baneck said.
The Black River Falls summer youth will be taking part in the planetarium for a “Star Gazing Part Two.”
The Stevens Point Planetarium has summer shows at 7:30 pm Mondays and Wednesdays. Doors open approximately 20 minutes prior to a show, according the Planetarium Observatory directory.