By Megan Fischer, Providence Children’s Museum
Through September 7, Providence Children’s Museum hosts My Sky, an immersive traveling exhibit that encourages families to look up and be inspired by the wonders of the universe. Produced by Boston Children’s Museum in collaboration with Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and NASA, My Sky invites families to investigate the sun, moon and stars together as they:
- Gaze through a telescope to see stars and planets in their real-time positions in the sky.
- Examine real footage of the nearest star, and see solar events like flares, eclipses, solar tornados and more in a movie of the sun.
- Explore the phases of the moon by manipulating a mechanical model.
- Find familiar constellations and invent new ones.
- Discover the twinkling night sky in a large darkened dome.
- Sit around a campfire and crawl inside a tent to tell stories and hear music inspired by the sky.
- Watch the sun setting and the moon rising, and find planets, constellations and more in a 24-hour time lapse of the sky.
- Meet scientists, artists and others who are inspired by the sky above.
Many people don’t know that Providence Children’s Museum has an in-house exhibits team, which means that we develop, design and fabricate all of our exhibits. We’ve rarely hosted exhibits designed by others so working with Boston Children’s Museum to bring My Sky to Providence offers visitors a new and different experience. Designed to engage children ages 5 to 10 and their adults in interactive explorations of objects and phenomena visible in the sky, the exhibit gives caregivers an opportunity to help children practice foundational science skills such as observing, noticing patterns, predicting, estimating and thinking creatively – skills that are fundamental to astronomy and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) thinking, and that scientists and engineers use every day.
Join an opening celebration of My Sky on Friday, June 12 from 5:30-7:30 PM to explore the exhibit and meet astronomers from Brown University Science Outreach and experiment with solar telescopes, see models of asteroids, and create your own constellations. At 6:00 PM, hear storyteller Thawn Sherente Harris share traditional tales about the sky, sun and stars from his Narragansett culture. Admission is free from 5:00-8:00 PM for MetLife Family Friday, sponsored by MetLife Foundation.
Inspired by the exhibit, families will also try activities exploring the daytime and night sky in Discovery Studio, the Museum’s hands-on art and science exploration space, in July and August. Design constellations, create asteroids, make a sundial and solar warmer, and more. Visit the Museum’s website for a full calendar of activities.
My Sky was produced by Boston Children’s Museum in collaboration with Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and NASA; sponsored in Providence by June Rockwell Levy Foundation.