When you have older children, it can be extremely difficult to keep them interested in science, math, and anything having to do with astronomy or the sun. It’s not cool to like school, and those that excel in the aforementioned topics often are declared nerds or dorks. If only everyone understood that today’s scientists, mathematicians, and astronomers are tomorrow’s superstars.
Until they do, it’s our job as parents to find unique ways to educate while entertaining them at the same time, and the Solar Observatory Big Bear is the way to do it! Located just past the Big Bear Discovery Center off Highway 38, public tours aren’t always available, so you may want to check their website to make sure you can take a tour while you’re in the area.
What Does the Big Bear Solar Observatory Do?
Basically, they study the sun using big, powerful telescopes that are located in three buildings on the property. Operated and owned by the New Jersey Institute of Technology, they study space weather, intermittency in solar surface magnetic structures, Earth’s global albedo, and many other fascinating topics involving the sun that we wished we understood more than we do. But that’s why places like the Big Bear Solar Observatory are so important to the youth of today’s world. When we start getting our kids involved in science, be it Earth, solar, or even astronomy, we open a whole new world to them and regain hope in our future.
Only offered in the spring, the Big Bear Observatory is closed to the public until spring of 2017. This tour is not meant for children under the age of 10. You will have the opportunity to view some pretty delicate technology and young kids can be slippery and disappear right out from under the very watchful eyes of parents. The tours offered here are also not for people who can’t climb stairs or walk for long distances. The telescopes you get to see are located three flights up. If you don’t meet the criteria for being able to complete the tour safely, the Big Bear Solar Observatory’s website offers virtual tours and the opportunity to view at your own pace.