AFA Road Shows

Polmont Roadshow

One of the few occasions when an observing session
was able to be held, this one at Polmont.

One of the main aims of the Association of Falkirk Astronomers is to encourage an interest in the science of astronomy among the general public, with this in mind it was decided to try and start them young. Our RoadShows were formed with the intention of encouraging youth and children's groups (scouts, guides, cubs beavers etc.) to fascinating hobby and science of astronomy. The presentations are tailored to the different age groups. The youngest, the beavers, are told in a storybook fashion about the constellations, the cubs, scouts and guides are given a slide show and a display of telescopes, books and astronomy programmes on a computer.

All the groups are encouraged to ask questions and take an active part in the presentation and this is usually done with enthusiasm, especially among the younger groups. At all shows we endeavor to have an observing session outside, unfortunately the weather is rarely amenable but when it is, these sessions have always been voted a resounding success, especially this year with Venus, Jupiter and Saturn in the evening sky. The evenings always finish with a quiz, for which we supply a book about astronomy as a prize.

Last year, 2000, we were invited by the Scout Association to give an exhibition at their Millennium Camp which was held at the BP sports ground in Grangemouth, this led to a number of enquiries and bookings for our RoadShow.


Letter of appreciation


Dear Mr. Scott,

Thank you for visiting Polmont Cubs. We really enjoyed the talk. It was very exciting and interesting. Thank you for letting us see Saturn and Venus through the telescopes. Sam Niall and myself told our teacher all about it at school the next day. We hope you enjoyed it too and would be happy to visit Polmont Cubs again.

Thanks again,

Lewis MacDonald (on behalf of Polmont Cubs)


Images from some of the RoadShows

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We also hold an annual exhibition / recruiting drive which is free and open to the public. The exhibition consists of a display of telescopes, binoculars, cameras, photographs, books, magazines, computer with astronomy programmes running and a slide show at intervals during the day. We normally have handouts available and tea/coffee is on tap during the day. Further details of this years exhibition, which is on Saturday 22nd. September, will be published on the notice board nearer the time.


Acknowledgements are due to the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) from whom we obtain leaflets, booklets and wallcharts which we distribute at the RoadShows and at our exhibition.

The following companies and organisations also kindly give copies of catalogues and leaflets for distribution at the exhibition and RoadShows

Stockport Binocular & Telescope Centre    Wide-ranging catalogue of all things astronomical and includes microscopes, software, books and educational toys
Widescreen Centre Catalogue and Heavens Above guide to astronomy
Optical Vision Limited Importers and distributors for TAL and Helios Telescopes, binoculars etc
Midland Counties Publications Comprehensive catalogue of Astronomy books, videos, CD-ROMS etc
Sherwoods Suppliers of astronomical telescopes and accessories
Armagh Planetarium Catalogue of videos, 35mm Slides, posters, T-Shirts and astro gifts
Cambridge University Press Catalogue of astronomy books Site of the Mills Observatory in Dundee, leaflets