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Description of the Planetary Atmospheres Demo and its Uses page
HOW LONG DOES THE DEMO TAKE?
20 minutes is typical per participant group.
More if it ends with participants asking questions, or starting
spontaneous discussion. Families who really get into the
teamwork may take longer, as well.
Especially on the museum floor, presenters should be flexible
-- adjusting to the body language and facial signals of how much
time visitors want to spend. Is it about time for the planetarium
show to start, or the penguin feeding? The demo can be abbreviated.
It is generally not necessary to post start and ending times.
As one group finishes, another will usually gather. Often two
volunteer presenters work as a team. One maybe halfway through
the demo with a first group, when the other volunteer starts
a second group of participants off.
Groups of kids in the 4 to 8 year old range may huddle around
for long periods, feeling the warmth of the sun, comparing the
atmospheric samples, and playing with the molecules. That's
fine. The opportunity for kids to learn and play in a safe environment
is important. The demo is reasonably resilient, with replaceable
parts. What is essential is that a caring, responsible adult
is paying attention to insure that everyone is playing safe.
We don't want to exclude or rush our younger scientists