Many children and even a few adults left with expressions of astonishment as they climbed out of an inflatable blue dome that took over most of the community meeting room at the Seguin Public Library on Thursday.
It was the same reactions many guests had throughout the day after watching the solar system illuminate above their heads inside the inflatable mobile planetarium brought to the local library by Stars and Science Austin as part of the 2019 Summer Experience Program.
“It’s an immersive educational experience all about outer space. We have brought them before and this summer’s reading program the theme is A Universe of Stories so I thought of these guys first thing,” Youth Services Librarian Hannah Farmer said. “The Friends of the Library helped to pay to bring them out here.”
Thursday’s program was geared toward children as young as in pre-kindergarten to adults with different sessions going on throughout the day.
The younger children started out with a “Space and Shapes” show before Lucia Brimer of Stars and Science Austin shifted toward an elementary-age focus show called “We Choose Space.”
“That one was kind of all about the space program. This summer is the 50th anniversary of the first man to walk on the moon,” Brimer said. “We talked about the Apollo program and the National Space Station. It was pretty engaging, you know, the kids knew a lot.”
Sharon Fraels found it to be a good experience for her 5-year-old grandson Kason.
“I thought it was very good and interactive. She made it very age appropriate since this was a younger group,” she said. “It was just nice to see that. It’s something Seguin doesn’t get to have the opportunity very often so it’s great the library brought that here.”
Alyssa Escobar, 5, who visited the dome with her parents Lillian and Shawn Escobar, said she enjoyed herself.
“It was so funny. I loved the part with Pluto,” she said.
To close out the day, the curious child in every adult was brought out as Stars and Science Austin hosted two adults only planetarium presentations.
“One of the adult shows was called ‘Out There’ and it’s about the possibility of life in the universe, and how we’re finding planets orbiting other stars right now,” Brimer said. “The other one was the ‘Phantom of the Universe’ and it was about dark matter. You know what is dark matter how can we find it and what are people doing to try to find it.”
Brimer along with her business partner Bobby Corley founded Stars and Science Austin to bring astronomy, earth science and various science activities to after-school programs and libraries as an outreach program.
Brimer said she hopes those who visited the planetarium on Thursday find an interest in astronomy or space travel.
“Astronomy is really my first love and so this is really cool that I can actually make a living talking about it,” she said. “It’s something that gets people excited about science. Even when you’re talking to adults. Even adults go ‘Wow, I didn’t even know that’ and they need to learn things even when they’re faced with kids.”
The next Summer Experience event is the Sky Full of Stories at 2 p.m. at the library.