Andrew is a Senior Planetarium Educator at Liberty Science Center’s Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium! This year, you may have seen him host one of our Planetarium Online shows on Facebook while LSC was temporarily closed.
In the post below, learn more about what it was like for Andrew to get comfortable with Facebook Live presentations, and the type of feedback he’s received from fans all over the world.
When LSC was forced to close in March due to COVID-19, I really was not sure when I would get to give a planetarium show again. When we realized that our closure would be longer than the couple of weeks we had hoped for, we began to plan to stream Planetarium Online programs via Facebook Live.
I wasn’t sure how this would go – originally, I thought it would feel like me shouting at my computer, without feeling connected to anyone.
As it turns out, within five minutes of my first Planetarium Online show – a show called “Tour of the Evening Sky” – I realized it was exactly the opposite. Reading messages in the comments and seeing so many enthusiastic young scientists filled me with such joy. Since then, we have done over 25 Planetarium Online shows, some of them run by me and others by my incredibly talented colleagues Chrysta and Mike. The shows have covered things like exoplanets, supermoons, galaxies, asteroids, meteor showers, astrology, the deep solar system, dark matter, and so much more. The wonderful questions that have been asked during shows, and the incredible feedback we have received, has made this a great experience for all of us!
Now that we have re-opened our planetarium I have been able to speak with some of our biggest Planetarium Online fans! One viewer named Charlie told me that he has seen every single one of our planetarium online shows, and that he especially loved the shows about planets the most. Another guest let me know that seeing us on Facebook Live has helped their family stay connected to science education while their schools have been doing remote learning. I have also been able to read interpretations of stars and constellations in the sky that I never would have seen before.
Perhaps the best feedback I have received so far are compliments about my cats when they have decided to make their guest appearances!
The most surprising part of this experience has been how far-reaching our shows have been. At the beginning of each show we ask our viewers to let us know where they are viewing from. So far, I have noticed viewers coming from all 50 states and from countries all over the world, including Italy, Pakistan, India, Chile, and so many more! Recently, I received this email from Aeliya in Pakistan:
My name is Aeliya. I'm from Pakistan and I'm 11 years old. I study in grade 6 and I wanna be an astronomer when I grow up. What subjects should I be studying or choosing in order to continue learning about space and astronomy in the next grades? I watch all your live sessions but tragically in Pakistan, we do not have space learning facilities like in the US. I have a telescope named Celtron and I can see the moon clearly. Which telescope is best for spotting planets and stars?
I hope you get this message and read it.
Thank you for sharing these live sessions, i love them.
It has been your messages, and feedback like this, that has made Planetarium Online so much fun for us to do each week. So thank you to all of you that have been tuning in and supporting us! I hope to see you in the planetarium, or on Facebook soon!
Be sure to follow Liberty Science Center on Facebook to keep up with our weekly live stream programs! You can also click here to learn more about LSC’s reopening, view our safety protocols, and buy tickets to come visit us soon.