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The Fairfax County Park Authority offers a variety of activities such as classes, camps and tours in a wide variety of categories including aquatics, fitness, nature, dance, outdoor recreation, performing arts, history and many more. Special events, trips/tours and specialty workshops are listed in Parktakes, the Park Authority’s quarterly guide, available through free subscription to county citizens. .

Astronomy-Listening to the Universe (8-Adult)

(8-Adult) What can you hear from space? Join the adventure to understand cosmic noise and what it tells us about the sun, the magnetic structure surrounding some of our planets and the radio signals from Jupiter. Learn how our galaxy is mapped using the faint signals from hydrogen atoms and the behavior of molecules. Listen to the sounds of pulsars, strange dense fast rotating stars. Come hear what our universe is saying. The class will be held in the roll-top observatory at Turner Farm Park.

Code Breakers (12-14 yrs)

(12-14 yrs) Calling all future coders, programmers and designers. Join Black Rocket Productions to learn the basics of coding languages such as HTML, JavaScript and CSS through a series of web projects and design challenges. Projects will be available on a Black Rocket website to share with friends and family. Students will work in pairs or teams for most of the program. Returning students can create more advanced projects.

Digital Kidz Programming (8-12 yrs)

(8-12 yrs) In this Digital Kidz adventure, aspiring coders incorporate robotics and technology with collaborative STEAM activities to learn essential programming concepts. Using drag-and-drop software, sprites and code blocks students create animations, video games and robotic programs. Students use the Sphero EDU robot to create a painting, navigate a maze or have a dance party.

Digital Kidz Robotics (6-8 yrs)

(6-8 yrs) NASA is in the market for a new planetary rover to explore the recently discovered planet of Albion 3. Students construct and program a robot to explore the planet's surface, identify geological formations and detect obstacles. Combining the versatility of the LEGO building system and intuitive drag-and-drop programming software, this Digital Kidz adventure will have students working in teams, making friends and creating robots from day one.

Exploring the Moon (8-Adult)

(8-Adult) The Moon is as old as the Earth, and its surface is marked by craters and lava flows billions of years old. Explore these lunar features through a high-powered telescope and learn about their origins. See where the Apollo lunar landings occurred, and discuss what the astronauts found. Class meets rain or shine with alternate viewing sessions available for cloudy days. Advance registration required, no walk-in registration available.

Homeschool Science- Vertebrate Classification

(6-12 yrs.) How does an animals body covering, like fur, feathers or scales, help it to survive? Learn the how mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds and fish are classified. Indoor discussion followed by an guided park tour. We use exploration, observation and lab skills to explore this topic.

Homeschool Science-Environmental Engineers

(6-12 yrs.) Did you know that beavers are a keystone species and they created the wetland habitat at Huntley? Learn about what a keystone species is, the beavers life cycle, adaptations and impact on the environment. Indoor discussion followed by a guided park tour. We use exploration, observation and lab skills to explore this topic.

Homeschool Science-Wetlands are a Natural Treasure

(6-12 yrs.) What environmental factors need to come together to create a wetland habitat? Join us as we learn about this regionally rare habitat and discuss the importance of wetlands to wildlife and people and how we can protect them. Indoor discussion followed by a guided park tour. We use exploration, observation and lab skills to explore this topic.

Homeschool-Sketching through History & Science

(6-12 yrs.) Did you know that 100 years ago most field scientists were accomplished artists? Without portable cameras, biologists needed a way to capture their discoveries...and art was their tool. We will be studying the techniques used in making a field sketch page, learn some basic drawing skills, and get to know the stories of long ago explorers and scientists. A field sketch kit is included!

Intro to STEM Using Lego (5-7 yrs)

Students build engineer-designed projects such as boats, snowmobiles, catapults and merry-go-rounds in this PlayWell class, then use special pieces to create their own unique design. Students explore endless possibilities using the LEGO building system.

Intro to Telescopes (8-Adult)

(8-Adult) Class covers astronomy basics and how to set up and use your telescope. Course content depends on telescope type and includes observing selected objects in the sky using the roll-top observatory, weather permitting. You can bring your own telescope to class. Advance registration required, no walk-in registration available

Introduction to Astronomy (8-Adult)

(8-Adult) Do you wonder where our calendar and the days of the week came from? Why are days 24 hours long? This class covers these questions and others in the light of what astronomy had to do with them. We explore the basic types of astronomical objects from the smallest to the largest and their motions through the universe. The course will be held in the roll-top observatory at Turner Farm Park with an observing session weather permitting.

Meteor Astronomy (10-Adult)

(10-Adult) This class covers basic meteor astronomy including what meteors are, their origins, best time to view, fireball reporting, past meteor showers videos. An optional observing session is held outdoors after class, weather permitting. Advance registration required, no walk-in registration available.

Meteorites-Exploring Visitors from Space (8-Adult)

(8-Adult) What are meteorites? Where do they come from? What do they tell us? This class is an introduction to these visitors from outer space. Participants will be able to examine actual meteorites including specimens from the Moon and Mars. The course will be held in the Roll-Top observatory classroom at Turner Farm Park.

Minecraft Modding (6-12 yrs)

In this class offered by STEM exCEL, Minecraft Modding and Java programming are tied together to allow students more customization in their mods. At the same time, this course teaches students how to solve problems in a multiplayer game while building and collaborating. Students learn to advance their programming skills writing and implementing large scale Minecraft modifications. Any supply fee payable to instructor at first class.

NASA Family Science Nights

(7-12 yrs.) Using NASA educational materials, explore the skies with a new topic each week. Use telescopes in addition to nightly activities which engage children and their adults in learning about the night sky. Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and learn what the future holds for space exploration and travel. Games, crafts, night hikes and more feature in this exciting STEAM series. At least one adult, and no more than two adults, must attend with each child’s family group. No class 9/20.

Python Progammers (8-12 yrs)

(8-12 yrs) Python is the world's fastest growing programming language favored by Google, NASA and Youtube. Learn how to code with Python to create engaging apps and games in this Black Rocket Productions class. Each lesson takes you step-by-step on a programming path that lets you challenge friends with fun content you create from start to finish. Students will work in pairs or teams for most of the program. Returning students can create more advanced projects.

Robotics, Engineering & Coding (8-12 yrs

(8-12 yrs) This Digital Kidz program immerses students in the exciting world of robotics using the LEGO Mindstorms EV3. Students learn teamwork while building robots and using programming principles, such as events, loops, variables and functions to navigate a maze, rescue the science rover, compete in BattleBot competitions and defeat the zombies.

Sensational Science (6-12 yrs)

(6-12 yrs) In this Mad Science class children harness heat energy, learn the science behind heat and explore the properties of both light and color. Mad Scientists experiment with magnets, examine curious optical illusions and analyze the amazing properties of slime! while getting to know their taste buds better and witnessing a hair-raising demonstration of static electricity.

STEM Challenge Using Lego (8-12 yrs)

Master your engineering skills in this PlayWell class. Students apply physics, engineering and architecture concepts to engineer-designed projects such as boats, snowmobiles, arch bridges and battletracks, then use special pieces to create their own unique design. Students explore endless possibilities using the LEGO building system.

Topics in Astronomy at the Roll-Top Observatory

(8-Adult) The Roll-Top observatory at Turner Farm holds a classroom talk on an astronomy related topic each month. Topics range from planets, the Solar system, constellations, stars, galaxies, space missions and other subjects. The talk will be followed by an observing session with telescopes in the observatory if the weather allows. Advanced registration required. Check the Analemma Society website for the monthly topics (www.analemma.org).

Zip Zap Boom (6-12 yrs)

(6-12 yrs) In this series Mad Science classes children experiment with animal calls and take a trip to the bottom of the sea to see how marine life adapts to harsh conditions, then pop, jump and flip into kinetic energy during Energy Burst and build your own robotic arm. Everyone will get to mix It up during our crazy chemistry class.