The Universe comes to life for MAIER Family Partnership families!

Two young boys touching clear globe, smiling, at Astronomy CenterThe Universe became a fascinating place to visit for those attending MAIER’s Family Partnership event at the Emera Astronomy Center at UMaine last Saturday. While visiting the Emera Center may be a challenge for families that include a family member on the autism spectrum, Saturday’s shows were especially planned to offer everyone a time to let down their guard, be themselves, and learn about space, at their own pace and in their own style.

While some kiddos were drawn (and drawn, and drawn) to the interactive exhibits and visual displays in the lobby, others were fascinated by the darkness of the planetarium dome that came to life for two separate showings. Not to mention the spontaneous light show that arose from our glow-in-the-dark bracelets!

Polaris featured a friendly polar bear and penguin duo that led the younger group on a space mission to explore the earth and nearby planets, while To Space and Back, took the older group on a journey highlighting the technology that makes space exploration possible while also touching our day-to-day lives on earth. A vision of the current night sky, led by Emera Director Shawn Laatsch, topped off the afternoon.

Our thanks to the UMaine students who helped families enjoy the afternoon, the Emera Center for opening their doors to our group, and most of all, to all our families and friends who made this event a fun, playful, and educational afternoon!