Science With Our Golden-Aged Friends

22 01 2012

Yair was a source of inspiration to thousands of people in 2011, setting up telescopes across the country and offering free views of the night sky.  But I kept thinking that we were missing out on a really important demographic: senior citizens.

Seniors often aren’t out past dark, but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be exposed to Yair’s excitement about and knowledge of the universe.  I made some calls and booked what I hope will be the first of many free astronomy programs at senior citizen centers in 2012.

Yair Prepping For His Astronomy Presentation at the San Diego Senior Center

Yair Prepping For His Astronomy Presentation at the San Diego Senior Center

The program was a tremendous success and Yair is a natural educator!  We (yes, we!) gave a talk about Pluto’s Planetary Identity Crisis and presented a second interactive program called How To Survive in Space.  I played “Vanna White” by taking notes on the oversized white board and walking around the room to display relevant photos from Yair’s laptop to attendees.

We received such positive feedback and Yair got a taste of how great it is (and how great it feels) to contribute through volunteerism.  Program number two is scheduled for a senior center in Tucson this Wednesday – can’t wait!

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posted by ayo

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12 responses

23 01 2012
danshula

KOL HAKAVOD (ALL THE RESPECT in Hebrew),I am also teaching voluntarily how to use a computer to our elderly in my village.
To give is to receive….

23 01 2012
yair

Thanks, Danny. I’m sure that the person really appreciates it.

25 01 2012
ayo

Thanks, Danny! Kol Hakavod to you, too. We taught my Oma how to Skype before we hit the road, and what a difference it makes. I’m sure that the people in your yeshuv really appreciate the volunteering that you do.

23 01 2012
cyndi

There is no better way to learn, than to teach our elders!

23 01 2012
yair

I’ve found over and over that hanging out with “elders” on the road is a much more educative experience than hanging with, um,… youngers?

25 01 2012
ayo

Agreed!

23 01 2012
Bernie Horowitz

Terrific! Considering that this is winter and it gets dark relatively early, wouldn’t it be possible to return early enough to entice the seniors out and train the telescope on the moon (new moon this Wednesday) or on a planet or two. I’d bet that very few, if any, have ever had that experience.

25 01 2012
ayo

It’s a great idea. I’m not sure that it’s doable for tomorrow’s program (because the moon will be just a sliver and I am speaking at the JCC), but it’s definitely a worthy suggestion for when we set up a program in El Paso.

Thanks for the encouragement!

24 01 2012
libertatemamo

Fabulous!! Well done!
Nina

25 01 2012
ayo

Thanks, Nina!

24 01 2012
Linda

Did you do this through the Quartzsite Improvement Association? If you came through next year I bet they’d be glad to have you, if not. 🙂

25 01 2012
ayo

Hey Linda! We didn’t know about the QIA until we got to Quartzsite, but if/when we return next winter, we’ll definitely keep it on the radar screen. Thanks for the suggestion!

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