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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. .

Astronomical Seminar & Telescope Viewing

(8-Adult) The roll-top observatory at Turner Farm holds a classroom seminar and nighttime observing session focused on a specific astronomical topic each month. Topics include planets, comets, open clusters, double stars, stellar color spectrum, globular clusters, galaxies, nebulae and more. Telescopes are used to view the objects discussed in the classroom (weather dependent). Check the Analemma site for monthly topics. www.analemma.org. Advance registration required, no walk-in registration available.

Coding in Minecraft (6-8 yrs)

(6-8 yrs) In this C3 class, students use a custom mod called “Computercraft” to program robots called “Turtles” inside the world of Minecraft. Students utilize problem-solving skills to program their robots to complete various tasks and objectives such as automatically building, mining, and crafting items and structures. Students are introduced to programming if-then-else statements, for-while loops, and implementing their own functions using Lua, a simple scripting language.

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.

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.