Core Sound Waterfowl Museum holds ‘Awesome Astronomy Days (and Nights)’ for elementary children

(Contributed photo)

HARKERS ISLAND — The Core Sound Waterfowl Museum & Heritage Center on Harkers Island had its first-ever “Awesome Astronomy Days (and Nights)” with over 20 third- through sixth-graders attending the summer camp Aug. 18.  Some of the topics for the camp included all about the moon, shooting stars and rocks, meteors and meteorites and solar telescopes by the Crystal Coast Stargazers Club.

CCSC is a small and informal group of people who share a common interest in the night sky. Whether it’s using a telescope, binoculars, camera or the naked eye, they always find something new to see. They started as a small group that met at Fort Macon State Park’s Astronomy Night. The group also assists in the Cape Lookout National Seashore Education Series by setting up at their ranger station on Harkers Island for seasonal NASA Solar Systems Ambassador programs. With their outreach mission of star parties, workshops, school events and pop-up events, the group thought it would be great to have a summer camp.

A favorite activity enjoyed by the children was learning about moon phases using Oreo Cookies. They learned about the full moon, waning gibbous, waning half (first-quarter moon), waning crescent, new moon, waxing crescent, waxing half (last quarter) and waxing gibbous. Some fun facts they learned were that the moon is Earth’s only natural satellite and the first largest moon in the solar system. And its presence helps stabilize our planet’s wobble, which helps stabilize our climate. The moon’s distance from earth is about 240,000 miles with a very thin atmosphere called an exosphere. The moon’s surface is cratered and pitted from comet and asteroid impacts. It is the brightest and largest object in our night sky. The best part of the activity was getting to eat your cookies afterward!

The event ended with a Family Day on Aug. 21 with over 100 adults and children attending. Core Sound’s Education Program Coordinator Tammer Lynk said, “It was wonderful to be able to partner with the Crystal Coast Stargazers and share with the members of the public of all ages some of the wonders of astronomy.  Our Down East area offers unique viewing experiences, and it was wonderful to see people come out and learn about these opportunities.”

To learn about future museum events such as kids programming, summer camps, stem education, teachers’ resources or the upcoming event, Taste of Core Sound, visit their website at, send email to or call 252-728-1500.

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