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Loughton Astronomical Society Astrokyds - Mercury, Moon and Craters

13 May 2016


'Astronomy and space for kids.

Astrokyds is a group for young astronomers (6 - 14 years) run by some of the LAS members. It is held once a month on Friday evenings.

Activities include simple experiments, audience participation, demonstrations, show and tell, quizes, mythology of the constellations and, if clear, some real observing. The aim is to kindle the interests rather than to provide a formal course in astronomy. Even some of the parents have been caught listening and in one case taking notes. Some of the more advanced young astronomers help out with some of the talks and demonstrations.

On Friday the 13th of May A group of 20 kids from Handsworth Primary attended an Astrokyds session at St Mary's Church Hall in Theydon Bois.

Firstly we had a look at what happened in the News since we've last been at an Astrokyds session:
British astronaut Tim Peake becomes first man to complete a marathon in space, finishing in three hours, 35 minutes and 21 seconds.

Tim Peake had to command a robot rover on Earth, driving it across a big sandpit in Stevenage, near London, that simulated the surface of Mars.

The transit of Mercury across the face of the sun is a rare natural astronomical phenomenon that happens eight to 13 times in one century. 

The theme for the session was Mercury, Moon and Craters.

We learnt quite a lot of fun facts about Mercury, Moon and Craters. We had a look at the similarities and differences between the Moon and Mercury.  It was very interesting to see how similar but also different the two are. 

On these photos we are getting together to act out how the planets are orbiting around the sun. 


For our next activity we 'made' our own craters. Each one of us had a small spherical chocolate. We were dropping or throwing them into a container filled with flour and chocolate powder on top. Once these touched the flour/chocolate mixture they formed craters.  Here are some examples of our craters. 
Did you know?

The Moon once had large volcanic flows way in the past that did cover up many of the bigger earlier impacts, but it has been without volcanism for around three billion years.

Pretty much any tiny dent made on the Moon’s surface is going to stay there.


This was so much fun... You should have seen the flour 'exploding'! Luckily we were allowed to take the chocolate out of the craters.

Children's evaluation and feedback:
I found it interesting that the craters on the moon have strange shapes.

Next time I would like to see a video of how the planets were created.

I enjoyed Astrokyds because my favourite subject is space. 

It was fun when we made our own little craters with the mini footballs and the flour. 

I would recommend Astrokyds to a friend because if they have an interest in Space they will learn a lot. 

Thank you to Miss Jordaan, Mrs Wilson, Mrs Buckley and all the parents who joined us tonight.
Hope you will join us  again in June. 

Next Astrokyds session is on the 10 June at 6:30pm - 8:00pm 'Gravity and how to beat it'

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This looks like a tremendously fun way to learn. Can't wait to ask the children about it on Monday.
Ms Heather Soar - 14 May 2016 - 11:33
Thank you for posting the summary and pictures from this session Ms Jordaan! This was a really fantastic session! I loved the crater demonstration! It was a wonderfully practical, and slightly messy, way to show how craters form! And we got to eat the meteors afterwards!! :)
Mrs Fiona Buckley - 27 Jun 2016 - 21:53
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