Cabrillo College has started an excellent program - bringing young elementary school students to Cabrillo College where they can tour around different departments and encounter what it's like to be a student in college, how much fun it can be to learn, and what it may be like to "be" a scientist or other professional when they finish college. I think it's a terrific idea and signed up for having the 4th-graders come out to the observatory where I showed them all the cool stuff my students get to play with, all the beautiful images that the students of my courses get to take with our astrophotography gear, and how a professional astronomer does his work - being in the "warm room" behind a computer, being able to look through a glass window into the "dome room" where the telescope sits in outside air temperatures and CCD imagers bring the view of the universe into their computer. They got a big thrill out of it all, and were boundlessly enthusiastic!

Part of the group was from Valencia School, at which I've been a science fair judge for many years. Cathy Guiley, science teacher there, is great at encouraging young students to do interesting projects.

The hike up the wilderness road to the Observatory, added to the adventure and the setting for Astronomy

In the Warm Room at the main observatory. I'm in the Dome Room showing some the big 12" scope and electronics, and showing how "Spock" (our main controller computer) talks to the mount, the CCD camera, and star charting software.

The POD dome - where the plan is to search for planets around other stars. Other solar systems around other stars! They loved this!