You didn’t need a plane or a rocket to soar through the clouds on Sunday.
“Family Science Day is a great way to draw attention to the importance that flight plays in our lives, whether that’s flight that allows us to travel to see friends or loved ones or flight that allows birds to fly or seeds to travel,” said Denise Young, the Morehead Planetarium’s director of education and planning.
The 30-minute, animated show drew laughs from the crowd as brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright took viewers for a ride through the history of aeronautics.
The film used the planetarium’s dome to allow viewers to experience the four forces of flight – lift, weight, thrust and drag – by flying across the Atlantic Ocean alongside Amelia Earhart.
Children learned more about the four forces of flight during hands-on activities, demonstrations and presentations within the planetarium. Some children made catapults out of spoons and others inflated rocket balloons to learn about thrust.
Jen Weinberg-Wolf, a UNC-Chapel Hill physics professor, was there with her two children, Miriam, 8, and Naomi, 10.
“As a family, just a month ago, we went to the Wright Memorial at Kitty Hawk,” she said. “So they were excited to see what they were going to do here.”
Budding scientist Emily Strite, 7, attended Sunday’s event with her family so that she could meet a scientist.
“She wants to be a scientist,” said her mother, Lisa. “So this is a really cool time to (meet them) to ask people questions and find out what training they have.”
As she watched several children build their own flying machines out of LEGOS, Young said the hands-on activities and presentations helped to educate parents and children about information from “Take Flight,” which was funded by NASA.
“The first A in NASA is aeronautics,” she said. “A lot of people forget that ... We thought by partnering with NASA, we could highlight that and bring attention to the important work that NASA does with aeronautics, which really does affect our lives every day.”
For more information about “Take Flight,” visit http://bit.ly/1QvGdCz.
Kathryn Trogdon: 919-460-2608: @KTrogdon
Want to see the show?
When: 11:30 a.m. on March 12, 19 and 26; 2:30 p.m. on March 13, 20 and 27.
Where: Morehead Planetarium, 250 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill
Price: $7.68 for adults. $6.51 for children, students and seniors. For planetarium shows, individual tickets go on sale in the gift shop 30 minutes before show time.