Harrison County Parks & Recreation is giving kids the opportunity to experience life "out of this world."
Its Encounters in Outer Space program at the 4-H center in Clarksburg features interactive exhibits from NASA, including a gravity well and "plasma balls," which teach kids about static electricity and the composition of stars.
On Sunday night, stargazers from across the area came out to the Harrison County 4-H Center to enjoy some sights from outer space and some ice cream.
The "Sundaes With the Stars" event began with a presentation on meteoroids, meteors, and meteorites to teach children the difference between the three.
Then, as soon as the sun set, it was time for the Star Watch, led by astronomer Robert Strong.
"We're going to be looking at Jupiter, the cloud bands of Jupiter, Jupiter's four largest moons. We'll be looking at Saturn, the ring system of Saturn, some of its large moons. We'll be looking at the planet Mars, which was closest last month, but still fairly close, so we should be able to see some surface features," said Strong.
The event was in preparation for a meteor shower that Strong says is coming up on May 23 and 24.
Kids could even dress up like astronauts and learn about space food. The event was also scheduled to have NASA IV&V Star Lab Planetarium Shows.
Organizers said they enlisted the help of experts to make the experience as educational as possible.
"We have a lot of different ways of teaching them, using things that they would understand and bringing it down to their level so they can understand gravity, how the planets rotate around," said Mary Jo DeMarco of Harrison County Parks & Recreation.
"I put a lot of pennies in there, and it looked like it was going around the earth," said Kylie Cozad, 8.
All events are free to the public.
904 West Pike Street
Clarksburg, WV 26301
Main (304) 623-3311
Fax (304) 624-6152(Clarksburg)
Fax (304) 225-2522(Morgantown)