Programs & Events at the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center
AEROSPACEFEST - Saturday, May 4, 10:30 AM - 4 PM
Bring your friends and family to a full day of science fun, at our annual aerospace festival. We will have STEM stations throughout the Discovery Center, with scientists, engineers, educators and volunteers from NASA, Raytheon, Elbit Systems of America, the NH Astronomical Society, Plymouth State University’s Meteorology Department, the NH Space Grant Consortium, Mad Science, Squam Lakes Science Center and more!
Meet the man who was at the helm of NASA from 2001-04, as former NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe gives us his perspective on space exploration, and awards the Alex Higgins Memorial Space Camp Scholarships to three lucky winners. And get ready for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, as we premiere our newest planetarium show, CapCom Go!
Admission price for the day is all inclusive -shows, activities, talks and exhibit exploration are all covered! Our cafe will be open, or bring your own lunch and picnic outside on our grounds (unless it’s raining, then picnic inside in our Unitil Room!). Cost: FREE for members and children two and under; $17 for adults, $15 for seniors and students, $12 for children ages 3-12. No library or ASTC member passes for AerospaceFest, please.
See you on AerospaceFest Day!!!!!
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.
April 5, 2019: April’s Super Stellar Friday will feature a DOUBLE planetarium show! The first show will be a special showing of Dawn of the Space Age in honor of Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space. Yuri Gagarin is celebrated each year on April 12, on the anniversary of his journey into space. The second show will be Tonight’s Sky, led by Education Coordinator Sarah Beattie.
ALEX HIGGINS MEMORIAL SPACE CAMP SCHOLARSHIP
Train to be an astronaut, an airplane pilot or a robotics engineer in a five-day immersive, intensive educational, and FUN camp at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center! Since 2001, 56 New Hampshire children and teens have traveled to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center for a week of simulated astronaut or pilot training, thanks to the Alex Higgins Memorial Space Camp Scholarship. Three more will get to go in 2019! This scholarship is open to New Hampshire residents age 9-18. Applications for the 2019 round of space camp scholarships are closed, but we will have 2020’s application available after January 1, 2020. The 2019 Alex Higgins Memorial Space Camp Scholarship Awards will be presented at AerospaceFest, on Saturday, May 4.
For more information on the Scholarship, click here.
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 is “To the Universe and Back: Celestial Bodies.” 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! This year's program will also feature many custom educator-led shows utilizing our Tonight's Sky, Family of the Sun, and Digital Universe Planetarium programs.
April 11: "What are Moons?"
We may have gotten to Earth and other planets last month, but planets certainly aren’t the smallest celestial bodies. Let’s talk about moons this month! How is a moon different than a planet? Is our moon “normal”? What do we know about moons near and far? It’s the 50th anniversary of the moon landing this summer! How did we get to the moon?
Optional Planetarium Show: Family of the Sun Moon Edition
*Attention: For Level 2, we will be making edible Earth and moon models using Rice Krispie treats, icing, and candy. If your child has a food allergy, please let us know when you book in advance.
May 9: "What are Comets and Asteroids?"
For our final session, we will look at some of the smallest celestial bodies: comets and asteroids. What do we know about them? What are the most famous ones? How do they create meteor showers? Should we be scared?
Optional Planetarium Show: Impact Earth
SUMMER STEM DAY CAMPS
To book your child or teen in one of our engaging week-long summer STEM day camps, contact Linds Jakows at email@example.com or (603) 271-7827 x104. You can also fill out the registration form and mail it in or drop it off in person. Our camps are led by our NASA Space Grant Interns, who are college students in STEM fields, and are overseen by the Discovery Center’s professional science educators.
All camps run Monday through Friday except for Blast Off!, which runs Monday through Wednesday. All camps except Blast Off! cost $345 per child/teen, with a discounted price of $320 for each additional child/teen from the same family, and a 10% discount for members. Enrollment in Blast Off! is $207 per child, with a discounted price of $192 for each additional child from the same family, and a 10% discount for members.
Coding, and Programming, and Robots… Oh Yes! June 24-28 9 AM - 4 PM For Ages 10-14
Explore the world of coding and programming using LEGO Mindstorms. This camp is an introduction to computer coding and programming and its application to robotic space missions. Complete fun daily challenges that will put your knowledge to the test. Families are invited to the grand finale robot races on the last day.
Blast Off! July 1-3 9 AM - 4 PM For Ages 8-12
Rocket your way to the stars with a summer camp that brings out the engineer in all of us. Build and modify different types of rockets each day including model rockets and air rockets. How high and far can you make your rocket go? Invite your family to the big blast off on the last day of camp.
Junior Flyers on Earth and Beyond! July 8-12 9 AM - 4 PM For Ages 5-7
Prepare for launch as you learn the basics of aerodynamics, flight and even rocket design. Then, join us as we leave Earth, travelling through the solar system and learning about the Sun and planets. Family and friends are invited to join for the fun-filled launch event on the last day.
Engineering Expedition July 15-19 9 AM - 4 PM For Ages 8-12
Dive into the design process and solve an engineering challenge. Build and test prototypes using cardboard and other found materials—refine your design for a final presentation and demonstration.
Tech for Ecology July 22-26 9 AM - 4 PM For Ages 10-14
How do biologists in the field use technology to learn about wildlife and plants? Explore equipment and methods used to collect field data as we document life just outside the Discovery Center. Our final day will include ‘training’ for family and friends.
Astronomy 101 July 29-August 2 9 AM - 4 PM For Ages 8-12
Become an amateur astronomer in this fun-filled adventure through the universe. Learn about what makes up our solar system and everything beyond! Use real telescopes to learn how astronomers are unraveling the mysteries of the universe every day and see what you can spy in the sky. Explore planets, moons, stars, nebulae, and more! Camp attendees will also receive free admission to our August Super Stellar Friday event the night of the last day of camp to explore night-time observing (must be accompanied by an adult, one free adult guest pass provided).
Imaging the Universe August 5-9 9 AM - 4 PM For Ages 10-14
How do we see the universe and how can we manipulate images we take of its many wonders? Get a refresher in basic astronomy and then learn how to capture pictures of the universe using low- and high-tech methods. Explore what we can learn from those images and create your own for a showing on the final day of camp.
TRAVELING EDUCATIONAL OUTREACH - For Your Classroom, Library, Youth Club or Special Event
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 two ways to achieve your Space Science Badges: a trip to the Discovery Center, or a specialized workshop! Contact our Visitor Services Manager, Linds Jakows at 603-271-7827 x104 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to book a group trip or one of our workshops.
A trip to the Discovery Center will provide you with all the background you need for your Space Science badges! Interact with our educators and docents to perform a number of activities for your badges such as scale models of the solar system. You are also welcome to bring materials to complete other activities, but we do ask that you help keep the museum clean and let us know ahead of time if possible. A Tonight’s Sky planetarium show is also a great way to check off steps and activities for your badge. Our observatory may or may not be open when you visit based on weather and staff availability (another reason to book a group trip as we will do what we can to have the observatory open while you are here).
Our Super Stellar Friday event on the first Friday of the month is also a great way to check off all these steps! On Super Stellar Fridays, we are open extra hours from 6:30-9:30 P.M. with nighttime observing (weather permitting), a Tonight’s Sky show and a special guest speaker or workshop. Check the calendar for details on the next Super Stellar Friday!
We offer 2 hour workshops for girl scouts that include a 1 hour workshop activity and a planetarium show (Tonight’s Sky is our most recommended, but we can discuss other options to work best for your troop). Our badge-specific workshop offerings currently include:
Solar System Explorers- learn about our little neighborhood of the galaxy in terms of size, scale, and composition. Explore our sun, moon, the planets in our solar system. (Contact us about designing this workshop specifically for your troop. We can adapt this workshop to different ages and discuss what activities we can accomplish in the time allotted.)
Juniors - "Get Moving!" Journey Workshop - learn about energy use and light pollution.
We also offer the following workshops that do not currently fit all the requirements to complete a badge, but do expand on steps within badges and provide an amazing opportunity to delve deeper into space as a troop.
Telescopes 101- learn the basics of optics and telescopes; then, try them out for yourself! (Recommended for grades 4 and up, but we are working on creating age appropriate activities for younger audiences.)
Final Frontier- learn about how astronauts live and work in space and other worlds (Recommended for grades 3 and up)
The Hunt is On! Search for Exoplanets: a brand new workshop for 2019, funded by a mini-fund from NASA Universe of Learning to explore planets that orbit stars other than our own. The workshop consists of an educator led planetarium show and hands-on activities to explore the process of finding these planets and ends with the chance to make your own planet!
*We are currently in the process of adapting these workshops to better fit the new Space Science badges and would love to work with troops on creating the best workshops! Contact us for details.*
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 Linds Jakows at (603) 271-7827 ext 104 or email email@example.com