Programs & Events at the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center
Live from the International Space Station!
On Thursday August 9th, we are hosting a live Downlink with astronaut Ricky Arnold on the International Space Station! A downlink is a twenty-minute video Q&A session between a U.S. educational organization and astronauts on board the International Space Station (ISS.) Astronauts and cosmonauts have been living, working, and researching onboard the ISS and want to share their knowledge and experiences with you! Be in the room while children ask Ricky questions live. These questions have been approved ahead of time, so we will not be able to field questions from the audience during the Downlink.
Come early at 2 PM for a short fun presentation and demonstration on the ISS and human spaceflight. The actual Downlink begins at 2:35. This entire event is included free with general admission to the Discovery Center.
Prior to being a NASA astronaut, Ricky Arnold worked in marine sciences and as a teacher. He was a member of the 36th flight of Discovery and the 28th shuttle flight to the space station to deliver the final pair of power-generating solar array wings and a truss element to the station.
To learn more about Ricky Arnold, other astronauts on board the International Space Station past and present, the different expeditions, and more visit https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/index.html.
Super Stellar Fridays
On the 1st Friday of the month, enjoy an evening of astronomy with Discovery Center educators and special guest speakers. Topics vary, covering new discoveries, historical events, scientific concepts and more. Doors open at 6:30 PM. Our evening's feature presentation begins at 7 PM, followed by an optional Tonight's Sky planetarium show. Recommended for ages 8+. Our all-inclusive price for Super-Stellar Fridays: Free for members, $11.50/Adults, $10.50/Seniors & Students, $8.50/Children; children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult.
If the skies are clear, not only will our observatory be open, but members of the NH Astronomical Society will be out on the Discovery Center's southside front lawn, ready to provide a FREE skywatch. Gaze through their telescopes - or your own - at the wonders of the night sky. The skywatch begins at dusk during daylight savings time or 7 PM during standard time.
August 3, 2018: Discovery Lab Opening
We are proud to announce the opening of our Discovery Lab, a new permanent space specifically designed for tinkering, making, and discovery, at August's Super Stellar Friday Event. The Discovery Lab will feature fun and engaging hands-on activities that foster creative problem solving skills, perseverance, and team-building skills. It will be installed in the gallery currently housing the Riding the Waves of History exhibit near the Planetarium entrance; this will create a permanent space that will be able to change on a regular basis with new activities and layouts, based visitors’ feedback and experiences. Be the first to discover what you can create in the Discovery Lab!
Summer STEM Day Camps
Does your child or teen love space? Our seven Summer STEM Day Camps offer a full week of exciting hands-on science and engineering adventures for kids ages 5 - 14, from June 25 through August 10.
June 25 – June 29 Destination: Earth (ages 10-14)
July 9 – July 13 Coding, and Programming, and Robots… Oh Yes! (ages 10-14)
July 16 – July 20 Junior Flyers on Earth and Beyond! (ages 5-7)
July 23 – July 27 Engineering Expedition (ages 10-14)
July 30 – August 3 Astronomy 101 (ages 8-12)
August 6 – August 10 Blast Off! (ages 8-12)
For more information, check out our STEM Summer Day Camps Page.
Homeschool workshops are offered October through May on the second Thursday of the month from 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM. You are welcome to enroll in individual sessions, by the term (Term 1: October, November, December; Term 2: January, February; Term 3: March, April, May), or for the entire series. Payment is required in order to reserve a spot: $15 for the first child, $10 for each additional child. Homeschool workshops are offered at three levels: Level 1 (Grades K-2); Level 2 (Grades 3-5); and Level 3 (Grades 6-8). An optional planetarium show will be offered at the conclusion of each program, for an additional $5 per person.
Our focus for the 2018-19 Academic Year will be “To the Universe and Back.” Come explore the size and scale of the cosmos. Beginning with the universe and working our way down to the smallest objects in space, we will be looking at and learning more about the universe, galaxies, black holes, planets, asteroids, comets, and more!
Specific session details will be coming soon.
Can't come to us? We can come to you!
We will adjust the content of any of our programs to suit your students' grade level. The programs actively involve your students in exciting, enjoyable learning experiences. Some involve hands-on activities for every student. Others utilize volunteers from the audience. We will be happy to answer questions after each show. Name a topic in space science and we'll deliver a program to your students in a fun and educational way! Learn more about all the outreach possibilities.
We offer 2 hour workshops for girl scouts that include a 1 hour workshop activity and a planetarium show. Our offerings currently include:
- Juniors - "Get Moving!" Journey Workshop - learn about energy use and light pollution.
- Telescopes 101- learn the basics of optics and telescopes; then, try them out for yourself! (Recommended for grades 4 and up)
- Final Frontier- learn about how astronauts live and work in space and other worlds (Recommended for grades 3 and up)
- Solar System Explorers- learn about our little neighborhood of the galaxy in terms of size, scale, and composition (Recommended for our youngest audiences, grades K-3)
We are currently in the process of developing more workshops, particularly those that will line up with the new Astronomy badges currently in development. If you have a particular request, we may be able to tailor a customized workshop.
- Astronomy Merit Badge
- Aviation Merit Badge
- Space Exploration Merit Badge
We can also help with Cub Scouting! Please call and we will help set up the perfect workshop for your troop.
Looking for a fun bonding experience with your troop? We offer overnight experiences! Overnights include 2 planetarium shows, snacks, breakfast, and exploration of the entire museum. The cost is $50 per attendee and we require a 45 participant minimum (or $2,250 minimum charge) to book an overnight experience.
To find out more about our scout opportunities or make a reservation, please contact Elizabeth Pappas at firstname.lastname@example.org or (603) 271-7827 x104.