Nancy B’s Science Club Moonscope is a moonscope meant for kids ages 8 and up. Created by toy company Educational Insights, the product was chosen Best Toy of the Year by Parents Magazine. Because I enjoy studying astronomy, I had a special interest in writing a moonscope review. When I was in college, I spent a summer studying astronomy in Hilo, Hawaii, so I have a special fascination with the stars. Having a basic understanding of astronomy helped me evaluate the product. Because I recently taught a unit on the stars and moons to second graders, I examined how I would use the item as a teacher. As a mom, I considered whether my oldest daughter, who is three years old, could safely use the product to help her interest in astronomy grow over the years.
As I wrote my moonscope review, I was relieved that the telescope was very simple to put together. Inside the box, I found two large parts, the tripod and the Optical Tube, which is the part that looks at the stars. The tripod and the Optical Tube fit together easily without a screwdriver. I tightened the optical (up and down) lock knob to assemble the product in one easy step. When I looked at the box and instructions, I realized that the item needed three AAA batteries. Luckily, some AAA batteries were in a nearby drawer.
When I had two of the larger pieces connected, I examined the function of the product. The telescope came with two eyepieces, a 20mm and a 40mm, as well as a moon filter. As I examined the product during the day, I noticed that it helped magnify trees in the distance. When nighttime came, I took the product outside to see how it worked. When I couldn’t see anything, I realized I had left the dust cap on the telescope. I chose the eyepiece I wanted to use, and I tried out the optional moon filter. Switching the eyepiece was very simple. Staring into the night sky was simple and captivated my family quickly. I’ve studied a lot of material teachers use to teach about the stars and the moon, and I would wholeheartedly recommend kids use the Stargazer’s Activity Journal.
I found helpful that the product comes with recommended websites to visit to help kids understand how the sky is laid out. According to the instructions, kids might want to visit the websites for NASA, Sky and Telescope, and Astronomy. I visited the recommended websites and found valuable information that helped supplement my hands on study of the stars. Another useful extension activity would be to use the app Star Walk, which I did with my daughter. The concept of mapping constellations in the night sky was a little advanced for my daughter, but she was very interested in the topic. I had to use some scaffolding, and I kept the telescope in a safe place when I wasn’t using it to make sure my daughter wouldn’t accidentally break it. Because I’m an advocate of STEM education for girls, I’ve been so happy to encourage my daughter to develop her science skills.
I received a free item, but it in no way influenced my opinion.