West Alabama families were invited to don their spacesuits and prepare for blastoff during this year’s space-themed Hands-on Family Night at the Alabama Museum of Natural History on The University of Alabama campus.
The event is a collaborative effort among UA’s Graduate School, the Graduate Student Association, Graduate Parent Support and Alabama Museum of Natural History. Graduate students from the Clothing, Textiles, and Interior Design department created an exhibit called "Design a Spacesuit" for the interactive event that featured a variety of pre-cut parts that the children could use to create customized looks for their astronauts.
Family Night at the Museum started six years ago to help support UA students who are parents have a fun event where they can meet other parents and let their children see what their life is like as a student, said Dr. Cori Perdue, director of UA’s Graduate School Programs. The event opened to the community because the graduate students wanted more people to enjoy the interactive exhibits.
“It is a great interactive family event that is unlike other options,” Perdue said. “Families can spend the evening discovering space together, learning about things from engineering to textile design to biology to theatre and dance. . . . It is a great event for families to make memories that will last by doing fun and educational activities in a very creative setting.”
Other activities included a “Martian Quicksand Pit,” fun with liquid nitrogen and dry ice, and writing-drawing stories associated with space. Telescopes were available as well as a NASA space suit for photos.