La Salle library offers hand-on, night sky program for youth

Program funded by a Project Next Generation grant

The La Salle Public Library will be offering a hands-on, night sky exploration technology program, especially for youth ages 11 through 14.

The program is thanks to a generous grant from Project Next Generation, an opportunity offered by the Illinois Secretary of State’s office.

The La Salle Public Library will offer youth, ages 11 through 14, an opportunity to explore the night sky using a series of three kits — telescopes, binoculars or the unaided eye. Each of the kits includes a variety of fun and exciting night sky activities. The unaided eye kit, for example, includes activities that teach youth to observe the night sky — as humans have done since they began looking up — with their eyes.

In learning where and how to “look,” participants will see so much more — learn to use a planisphere, observe asterisms, spot the ISS, make a star clock and more. The second kit uses binoculars — particularly great for constellations, nebulae, galaxies and a good look at the moon — like Tycho Crater. And, the third kit, the telescope, teaches youth how to set up and sight a telescope and how to find night sky objects — like double stars and star colors, planets, the Galilean moons of Jupiter and how to use a cell phone to take photography using the telescope.

“Space Explorers” is an independent, hands-on distance-learning program that runs six weeks from April 26 through June 4.

Registration begins Tuesday, April 6, through Friday, April 16.

Participants will be assisted by the Project Next Generation Mentor, who will be available via email, Zoom or in-person at the library, pandemic restrictions permitting. Space Explorers is limited to 18 youth, ages 11 through 14.

“Space Explorers” is funded through Project Next Generation, a grant awarded by the Illinois State Library, a Department of the Office of the Secretary of State, Jesse White, using funds provided by the U.S. Institute of Library Services, under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act.

The La Salle Public Library is located at 305 Marquette St. and is ADA compliant. For more information on the program or to register, call the library at 815-223-2341 or email: remotelearning@lasalle.lib.il.us or stop in at the library during open hours.