The final step needed for the girls to earn their Astronomy Badge was a visit to the planetarium at Buffalo State University. The actual planetarium is under renovation, so the school has an inflatable planetarium set up in a gymnasium.
The gentleman in charge showed two programs – one on constellations, and one on telescopes. Both programs held the girls’ attention (especially the first one), and all of them were actively engaged in what was going on, which is somewhat unusual for my group as there is generally at least one girl who is off in her own little world at any given time.
We were the only group there (and that was the only option because of how small the inflatable planetarium was), so when the girls asked questions the gentleman had the time to answer each one. He changed the view of the sky multiple times – only the stars, stars with lines connecting them to show the constellations, stars with mythological beings superimposed , a view of the northern hemisphere, a view of the southern hemisphere, etc…
This was one of the most successful trips we have taken in the fours years we’ve been a troop. It was a topic my girls are interested in, and it didn’t hurt that we were the only people there. They wouldn’t have had the same experience if we had been in the permanent planetarium.