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In "Love Will Guide Us," a Tapestry of Faith program
The reward of the young scientist is the emotional thrill of being the first person in the history of the world to see something or to understand something. Nothing can compare with that experience... The reward of the old scientist is the sense of having seen a vague sketch grow into a masterly landscape. — Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, astronomer, accepting the Henry Norris Russell Prize from the American Astronomical Society
IN TODAY'S SESSION... the children learned about the fifth Unitarian Universalist Source, in child-friendly words "the use of reason and the discoveries of science." We heard a story about Cecilia Payne, a Unitarian Universalist and the first professional astronomer. We conducted simple experiments to observe gravity and to investigate why sunsets are orange. Children learned that scientific investigation of falling objects or sunsets does not reduce their beauty or mystery, yet helps us understand our world.
EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Talk about... your own love of learning. We continue to learn new things all the time. Cecilia Payne faced challenges as a woman interested in a scientific field (astronomy) which did not yet exist, and yet she persevered. Discuss with your family a time you made a commitment to lifelong learning. Talk about something new you learned—in school, or not—and what that was like. How did you feel about school? What did you most enjoy doing in school? Why? Share with your child why you believe it's important that we learn and discover.
EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Learn about and track the Hubble telescope on a website that includes downloadable photographs. Another online resource is Astronomy magazine; take note of the special editions.
Books your family might enjoy include:
Family Discovery. The science experiment that shows why the sky is blue, but the sunset is red would be easy to replicate at home. Download Session 9, Activity 3, Blue Sky, Red Sunset from the Tapestry of Faith website.
A Family Ritual. Every week, take time to observe the night sky. Note the position of the Big Dipper and locate the North Star. Keep a log. The cold winter months are the best time of year to view these constellations.
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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.
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