Largest event in the history of Astronomy Night at the Peak lands at the CAC’s Signal Peak Campus Friday, April 12, at 6 pm
By Tom Di Camillo
PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. – In the largest and most diverse Astronomy Night at the Peak event in the history of Central Arizona College, the Signal Peak Campus will explode with extraterrestrial activity this Friday evening, April 12, when Dr. Wayne Pryor unleashes The Big Bang on Pinal County.
“We will discuss what is known about the expanding universe, highlighting discoveries from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) and the current Planck Satellite,” Pryor said. “We also will talk about why scientists say that the universe is about 13.7 billion years old.”
Pryor’s presentation and his array of telescopes are just part of a cosmic extravaganza that will envelop CAC’s Signal Peak Campus on Friday night. The family event is for all ages and is free.
Before night falls, visitors are invited for dinner at the Central Arizona College Dining Hall from 5-6 p.m. The dining hall is located on the second floor of the Mel A. Everingham Student Center adjacent to The Green near the entrance to the campus.
Dinner is $6.50 plus tax per person for everyone and is served buffet style. The menu includes hamburgers, grilled cheese sandwiches, pizza, chicken nuggets, French fries, macaroni and cheese, a salad bar, self-serve ice cream and dessert stations, and a choice of beverages.
At 6 p.m. sharp, the journey through the Signal Peak Campus to experience a variety of science activities – as well as math, English, reading and communications opportunities related to science – begins with 11 different events from which to choose.
The evening will feature six different sessions starting every half hour beginning at 6 p.m. Each session will run 25 minutes with a five-minute interval to allow visitors to move on to the next experience.
At 6:30 p.m., special guest and distinguished author, educator and speaker Alberto Rios will present the Poetry of Science.
Visitors should check in at the registration table at the M Building (Clock Tower) to receive a complete schedule of events. The scheduled sessions will include the following:
- STARLAB: Explore the inflatable planetarium with Katy Wilkins as she takes visitors on a journey of the Arizona nighttime sky. Her public presentations consist of short stories, how to locate constellations, and a variety of interesting astronomical facts. STARLAB was purchased when Central Arizona College’s SEMAA (Science Engineering Mathematics Aerospace Academy) program was being offered on campus.
- Reading Corner: Join storytellers who will share picture books relating to stars, outer space and other worlds, and who will offer interactive activities for each story.
- Fun Language Activities: Learn about different languages, play card and board games, open a handmade piñata, and make a Mother’s Day card containing messages in various languages such as Spanish, French, Portuguese and Russian.
- Sci‐Fi Memorabilia Tours: Tour the lounge containing studio scale models of Star Trek ships, light sabers, metal statues of sci‐fi characters, and more. All memorabilia commemorates various sci‐fi movies and books.
- More Bang for the Buck: Participate in chemistry demos and activities.
- Math in Magic: Watch as the CAC Math Wizard performs multiple demonstrations with card and mind-reading tricks. Then listen as he reveals how math is involved in the trick.
- Wildman Phil: Come laugh with Wildman Phil as he shares stories and facts about his desert critters.
The Astronomy Night at the Peak event also will feature a variety of ongoing activities that will run throughout the evening.
- Just for Kicks…Dance of the Action Potential & Waltz of the RoboRoach: Visitors will help professors make a cockroach’s leg dance to music. Also, a RoboRoach will be surgically produced for visitors to control remotely.
- Beyond the Naked Eye: Germs are everywhere. Learn how diseases spread and how to protect yourself through these demonstrations and activities.
- What’s Bugging You?: Using microscopes, learn about the interesting bugs who reside near your home.
- Aqua‐STEM: Visitors will engineer boats, look at weather currents, create tornadoes and participate in other water activities. Learn about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math with the common thread of water.
For more information on the Astronomy Night at the Peak event, please visit http://cacbigbang.eventbrite.com/.