Back to School: Bring the Stars Too!


With the arrival of August, many students dread the unavoidable approach of a new school year.  However, it’s not necessarily the end of staying up star-gazing under a beautiful summer night sky.  No need the stop watching “How the Universe Works” and “Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman”.  And definitely do not close that Michio Kaku book.  Bring the love of astronomy into the school year by proposing and leading an astronomy club!

It may seem challenging to manage a club, but if you prepare early, the stars will aline in your favor. There are many ideas which need to be considered before seriously forming an astronomy club.  Make sure there is enough interest amongst the student body before having a meeting.  The worst possible outcome is a no-show. The club doesn’t have to be huge, but the minimum should be 6-12 people, depending on the size of your school.  Additionally, if there is a club-approval process in your school, abide by it.  Another worst-case scenario is the club being filled with eager members, but then shut-down because it was not originally approved by the school.

The key to leading a successful astronomy club is make everything as fun as possible!  Many students may shy away from joining a science club because there could be a misconception of unavoidable boredom.  However, having cool video clips, music, food, and even decorations at meetings will increase the fun-o-meter.  Also, try to organize off-campus activities such as a night of supervised stargazing, or see if the school has an old telescope in storage.  The more interactive meetings and trips are with the club members, the more enjoyable the experience.


As for what you want to talk about during meetings, that is up to you!  Teach about topics that inspire you.  If members see an enthusiastic leader, they’ll be more open to learning about astronomy. Nobody wants to join a club where the leader is endlessly lecturing about how planets are constantly falling towards the sun, but because of the centripetal force of their orbits they never do…

Hope this gets the gears turning to consider the creation of an astronomy club at your school!

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– Julia