Speaking out against LGBTQ bullying #SpiritDay

stand up to bullying

Paper Mill Playhouse and the company of Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz support “Spirit Day 2019” in the attached image.  This year’s Spirit Day (Thursday, October 17) is a means of speaking out against LGBTQ bullying and standing with LGBTQ youth, who disproportionately face bullying and harassment because of their identities. Pledging to “go purple” on Spirit Day is a way for everyone to visibly show solidarity with LGBTQ youth and to take part in the largest, most visible anti-bullying campaign in the world.  Feel to use this image on your websites, social media and broadcast. Photo by Emma Rhyner.

Paper Mill Playhouse, recipient of the Regional Theatre Tony Award, presents the New Jersey premiere of Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz with a book by Marc Acito, musical adaptation & additional music by David Libby and conceived by and additional lyrics by Tina Marie Casamento. Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz  will run through Sunday, October 27, 2019, at Paper Mill Playhouse (22 Brookside Drive, Millburn, NJ). Directed and choreographed by Tony award nominee Denis Jones, Orchestrations by Larry Blank and David Libby with music direction by Lawrence Yurman, the principal cast features Ruby Rakos (Billy Elliot) as Judy Garland/Frances Gumm, Tony Award nominee Max Von Essen (An American in Paris, Paper Mill’s The Baker’s Wife) as Frank Gumm, Olivier Award-winner Lesli Margherita (Matilda, Dames at Sea) as Ethel Gumm, Karen Mason (Mamma Mia!, And the World Goes ‘Round) as Ma Lawlor/Kay Koverman, Stephen DeRosa (Into the Woods, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire) as Louis B. Mayer, Michael Wartella (Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryTuck Everlasting) as Mickey Rooney, and Colin Hanlon (ABC’s Modern Family, Paper Mill’s Benny & Joon) as Roger Edens.

Before she burst onto the big screen as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, Judy Garland was a young vaudeville trouper named Frances Gumm. In this highly anticipated new musical chronicling Garland’s early career from vaudeville baby to MGM teen star in the making, the road to Oz is paved with adversity. At its heart a story of love between a father and daughter, featuring such legendary songs as “Over the Rainbow,” “You Made Me Love You,” and “Everybody Sing,” Chasing Rainbows is a poignant coming-of-age tale about “the little girl with the big voice,” who went on to become one of the world’s most beloved entertainment icons. The show has already earned praise from Liza Minnelli, who said, “My mother said that her biography is in her music, and now a talented creative team is using that music to tell the story of her early years and her extraordinary rise to fame.”

Tickets available at www.PaperMill.org.

America’s Knowledge Crisis: A Survey on Civic Literacy

Washington, DC — A national survey commissioned by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) draws new attention to a crisis in civic understanding and the urgent need for renewed focus on civics education at the postsecondary level.

Some of the alarming results include:

  • 26% of respondents believe Brett Kavanaugh is the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, and 14% of respondents selected Antonin Scalia, who died in 2016.
    • 15% of the college graduates surveyed selected Brett Kavanaugh.
    • Fewer than half correctly identified John Roberts.
  • 18% of respondents identified Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), a freshman member of the current Congress, as the author of the New Deal, a suite of public programs enacted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s.
    •  12% of the college graduates surveyed selected Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
  • 63% did not know the term lengths of U.S. Senators and Representatives.
    • Fewer than half of the college graduates surveyed knew the correct answer.
  • 12% of respondents understand the relationship between the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment, and correctly answered that the 13thAmendment freed all the slaves in the United States.
    • 19% of the college graduates surveyed selected the correct answer.

ACTA’s What Will They Learn? report, an assessment of 1,123 general education programs scheduled for release tomorrow, helps to explain America’s civic illiteracy. Our analysis of 2019–2020 course catalogs revealed that only 18% of U.S. colleges and universities require students to take a course in American history or government.

”Colleges have the responsibility to prepare students for a lifetime of informed citizenship. Our annual What Will They Learn? report illustrates the steady deterioration of the core curriculum. When American history and government courses are removed, you begin to see disheartening survey responses like these, and America’s experiment in self-government begins to slip from our grasp,” said Michael Poliakoff, president of ACTA.

The survey was conducted in August by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, and consisted of 15 questions designed to assess respondents’ knowledge of foundational events in U.S. history and key political principles. The respondents make up a nationally representative sample of 1,002 U.S. adults. To view the full survey results, click here >>

APPLE STORES INTRODUCE NEW AUGMENTED REALITY CODING ROBOT FOR KIDS

Looking for a smart toy that brings virtual and hands on play together in a fun and educational way – one that sets it apart from the rest?

Introducing Botzees, the latest and greatest from Pai Technology, innovators that excel in pairing children’s growth through all stages with technology, science, and art to strengthen imagination, problem-solving, critical thinking, and healthy lifestyles.

Botzees is a new robotics kit for kids ages 4 and up that combines creativity, construction, and coding, all in one. Kids can build, program and code six different pre-designed robots or choose to create their own with the specially designed blocks that come with the kit.

Once built, Botzees can be taught to move, drum, dance, make sounds and light up using the free Botzees app. The kit’s 130 gender neutral, uniquely shaped, easy-to-grip blocks with rounded edges will inspire kids’ imagination with tactile, tangible hands-on learning. Additionally, the 30 interactive Augmented Reality puzzles will teach even more coding concepts with visual cues.

“We are tremendously excited to introduce a new way for younger children to enjoy the experience and benefits of coding,” said Amy Braun, Pai Technology’s Head of US Marketing and Communications. “Screen time is beneficial if used appropriately and we are happy to provide positive and physical STEM-focused products that do just that.”

Winner of the prestigious Seal of Approval from The National Parenting Center, Botzees is available now for $99.99 in Apple Stores and Amazon. To learn more visit pai.technology/botzees.

The most important thing to be sure of is that your device is compatible. Compatible devices are attached. Then:

  1. Update to the latest software on your device (be sure it is android 8.0 or iOS 12)
  2. Close any other apps open on your device
  3. If you are using an android device you will need to download the AR core app
  4. Download the Botzees app

You should follow the instructions on the slip and can download the manual at www.pai.technology/botzeesmanual

Pai Technology combines the latest advancements in technology and research to make familyfriendly educational products. We are innovators that excel in pairing children’s growth through all stages with technology, science, and art to strengthen imagination, problem solving, critical thinking, and healthy lifestyles. Our products are innovative, creative, safe, and above all, fun! Learn more at www.pai.technology .

Avoid The Summer Slide- Fun Ways to Stimulate Your Brain

Summer is a great time to relax and enjoy time together with friends and family, but you don’t want to let your mind turn to mush during that time. According to the Northwest Evaluation Association’s research,  “summer learning loss was observed in math and reading across third to eighth grade, with students losing a greater proportion of their school year gains each year as they grow older – anywhere from 20 to 50 percent.” How do you keep your child from losing their learning or falling behind? Keep their minds active, keep them reading, and keep brains stimulated. No, Fortnight totally doesn’t count, sorry!

Got a little one? Start young and keep them active. There are some amazing books out there, and of course your local library will likely have summer reading programs you can do with your child no matter what age. There are also puzzles and educational games you can play with your child on technology and “real life” touchable options- we recommend a bit of both.

kids apps

We recently tried out these fun and “edu-taining” science based apps aimed at preschoolers, and found them both adorable and fun. My child didn’t even realize they were learning, they honestly enjoyed them. Even my 12 year old liked them- except the dress up app, but that’s pretty good for an age range in my opinion.

I’m a teacher by trade, and I love that there are these apps that let kids have fun while learning.  Since science is an area that is under-taught in many schools, the more ways a child can be exposed to it, the better.  Cosmic Cubs (www.cosmiccubs.com) help kids pre-k and up learn about ecology, the solar system, and just for fun, a space dress up game as well. These three apps are available for Android and IOS platforms, via the App store or Google Play.  The space cubs also teach kids about the importance of being environmentally responsible- reduce, reuse, and recycle – in their Cosmic Cubs Eco Puzzle App.

The website has lots of coloring pages you can download as well as information sheets in addition to the apps. The apps are technically free but cost $1.99 for full access. Kids will have access to puzzles, games, learning about the planets, asteroids, meteors, comets, problem solving, and more. They also teach new vocabulary words. Even the dress up game helps with dexterity and hand/eye coordination, as well as learning about colors and more. Not to mention, spark an interest in space.  The three apps available are the Cosmic Cubs Eco Puzzler, the Cosmic Cubs Dress Up, and Cosmic Cubs Space Puzzles. $1.99 for full access.

kids apps

Learning a language is great for any age, and Rosetta Stone has options for any age learner at any level of knowledge. There are so many benefits that come from knowing a second language, and the younger you start, the better off you are. There is no time like the present, so no matter your age, you aren’t getting any younger- now is the best time. The benefits are really endless, from being able to get better job opportunities, to making better connections in the community and beyond, improving your memory, enhancing your ability to multi- task and decision making skills, improving your first language, and more.  It also keeps the brain active and challenged, which is necessary and helps with overall learning and brain health. So why not?

For kids, there is Rosetta Stone Homeschool. There used to be some pretty cool award winning apps for kids, but from what I can see (and from multiple calls to customer service to inquire) they seem to be discontinued. Rosetta Stone Homeschool uses pioneering technology “which promotes long-term retention and correct pronunciation—without memorization or drills” (as per the company).
Using an immersion method, language is taught the way you would naturally learn, with no translation required. With patented speech-recognition technology, TruAccent®, your child’s speech is analyzed and corrected to get the best accent possible. There are reports and progress data so you can see how your child is progressing, and your child can learn from a computer, phone, tablet, or whatever is convenient, on or offline.

Not just for kids, Rosetta Stone’s pioneering speech recognition technology helps kids or adults learn the language of their choice. With more than 30 options to choose from (including endangered languages), choosing the language you will learn might be the hardest part. You learn the way children naturally learn their first language, with image recognition, pronunciation assistance, and repetition. Tutoring is also available.

It starts with a core lesson that introduces you into a bunch of new words. The core lesson takes about 30 minutes. This is followed up by several smaller lessons that focus on different aspects that you learned in the core lesson. These range from about five to ten minutes each.

We have started learning a new language here -and I will update you in 6 months and let you know how it’s going.

5 Best Homework Help Services

Today thanks to the advancement of technology students can easily get help with their homework on the internet. The modern high school students like to explore the world around them and when they need to find out about a topic that is beyond their locality, they turn to online homework help services to get assistance. This is easy these days because just a little search via the search engines they are able to get a dozen of such services available for students. In this article piece, we help take you through the top 5 best homework help services for students. Just keep reading below to find about them below:

best tutoring

  • Khan Academy

 

Image: the khan academy

It is a free homework help service for high school students and college students alike. It was launched by a Harvard graduate who felt the need to come up with a high-quality education platform where students from all parts of the world could get study collections free. The platform offers various academic solutions to various subjects studied in high school and college. Here are some subjects you can get help with on the Khan Academy education platform:

 

  • History
  • Math
  • Economics
  • Astronomy
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Healthcare & Medicine
  • Arts & Visual arts
  • Computer Science

 

It is a great online educational help platform that you will be able to get thousands of study collections regardless of your location in the world.

 

  • Paul’s Online Math Notes

 

This one is specifically designed to help students get help with their Math assignments. As you know it Math is one subject that is dreaded by many students and most of them usually look for online help to find about formulas and equations. Here are some different math notes and tutorials that you can get on the platform:

  • Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Calculus I
  • Calculus II
  • Calculus III
  • Various other equations

 

  • Discovery Education

 

This is yet another good website that students can get homework help from. It offers various subjects that most students usually need help with. The platform offers multiple digital books and multimedia files. The platform is available in over 50 countries. The platform is designed to assist young students to get their projects done and also to inspire them either to learn or choose a future career.

 

  • King County Library System Research and Homework

 

This is also a nice homework help service for the students who wish to research about various topics on varied subjects. It is ideal for college students who need to perform research on topics assigned to them by their tutors. With this online homework service for students, you can be sure that your assignments will be done much faster.

 

  • CampusBug

 

The fifth one on this list is CampusBug which is a free homework help website that helps to enhance the communication channels between students and their tutors. It’s an online community for students. Once you have signed up at the service, you will find helpful tools literature and various other helpful resources that will help you complete your academic projects on time.

Conclusion

Now that you have learned about the five best homework help services, you can now easily get all the academic help that you need seamlessly. You can’t go wrong with the above online services that come to you at no extra cost.

U-Nest #GetUnested Twitter Party

This is a sponsored post on behalf of U-Nest. All opinions expressed are our own.

Join Blog­gin Mamas & U-Nest as we host the #GetUnested Twit­ter Chat on Tuesday, 10/9/18 at 9p EST! Join us as we talk about saving for college or higher education. Plus, there will be some prizes too!

Date: Thursday, November 15th, 2018

Time: 9:00–10:00pm EST / 6:00–7:00pm PST

Hash­tag: #GetUnested Secondary Hashtag: #UnestKids

Spon­sored By: @u_nest_future

Pre­sented by: @BlogginMamas

Mod­er­a­tors: Eng­lish– @HeLoEnterprises Span­ish– @BBabushka

Co-hosts: @EnzasBargains, @HaveSippy, @DonnaHup @CoolChillMom @MamasMission

Panelist: @BabySavers

About U-Nest

U-Nest is an intuitive and easy-to-use mobile app that establishes and manages a tax-free college fund for your child in minutes. You can start saving for your kids’ future with as little as $25/ month. Our college savings plan is the optimal way to save money for educational expenses due to its tax advantages and investment options. You can read about additional benefits here: https://u-nest.com/

 

After making the plan, the U-Nest app securely links to your bank account to automatically transfer money each month into your child’s plan. The app also lets you understand with a glance at your phone, how close you are to reaching your savings goal so that your child can pay for their education, debt-free. U-Nest is a fully accredited and registered Financial Advisor with the Securities and Exchange Commission and is backed by a team of experienced financial experts and advisors with decades of experience.

KEY FEATURES

  • Easy to Setup – Setup an account in five minutes. No long or confusing paper applications needed to start investing.
  • Tax-free growth – Stop worrying about your kids’ future and make the most of your investment returns via U-Nest tax-free college savings plan.
  • Easy tracking – Adjust your monthly contribution anytime, track your tax free projected growth, projected tax savings and asset allocation for your account.
  • Personalized Goals – Establish your future goal with U-Nest college calculator and choose an amount that is right for you based on monthly contribution, your child’s age, and type of school.
  • Simple and Fast – View account balance, change contribution plans and manage transactions at the touch of a button.
  • Affordable – Start investing in your child’s future with as little as $25/ month. U- Nest makes saving easier for every income group.
  • Secure – U-Nest uses bank-level security and the strongest browser encryption to keep your sensitive financial data safe.
  • Flexible – U-nest works by giving each of your kids a dedicated savings account. Set goals in seconds, view account balance, change contribution plans, manage transactions, all from your mobile phone. Save money for kids and start investing to help your kids achieve their goals.
  • Personalized Investment portfolio – U-Nest picks the best investment portfolio for your child based on your child’s age and when they will need the money for their education. Your portfolio is constantly optimized to achieve the best asset allocation as your child becomes older.
  • Investments managed by Invesco – All your investments are managed by Invesco, one of the best investment management firms in the United States with over 80 years of experience managing over $988 billions in assets under management.

COST

U-Nest charges a simple monthly advisory fee of $3 per account. The fee is collected by the same method of payment as selected for your investment contribution account.

Follow U-Nest

Like @unest on FB: https://www.facebook.com/unest/

Follow @u_nest_future on IG: https://www.instagram.com/u_nest_future/

Follow @u_nest_future on Twitter: https://twitter.com/u_nest_future

Visit the U-Nest website: https://u-nest.com/

Download U-Nest on the iPhone: bit.ly/unestapp 

Tweet­share:

Prizes

2- $25 Amazon Gift Codes (ARV $25)

1- Amazon Fire Tablet (ARV $50)

First Prize

1- Echo Dot Kid’s Edition (ARV $75)

Grand Prize

1- Amazon Kid’s Tablet (ARV $100)

RSVP Prize

1- Amazon Fire Tablet (ARV $50)

RSVP Below!!

Terms and Conditions

NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT NECESSARY. A PURCHASE WILL NOT IMPROVE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING.

By RSVP’ing to this event and uti­liz­ing the #GetUnested hash­tag, the atten­dees acknowl­edge hav­ing read and agreed to these terms and conditions.

Twit­ter Party Prize Give­away begins November 15th, 2018 at 9:00 pm ET and ends no later than November 15th, 2018 at 10:30pm ET (the “Twit­ter Party Entry Period”). Entrants enter via fol­low­ing @U-nest_future and @BlogginMamas, and post­ing a tweet with the #GetUnested dur­ing the Twit­ter Party Entry Period. Five (5) Win­ners will be drawn ran­domly by random.org at approx­i­mately 12 minute inter­vals dur­ing the Twit­ter Party Entry Period. One (1) Win­ner will be drawn ran­domly via random.org from the event RSVP’s on the Mr. Linky widget.

Prizes include:

One (1) $25 Amazon Gift Code. Total approx­i­mate retail value (“ARV”) $25, for each of two (2) winners.

One (1) Amazon Fire Tablet. Total approx­i­mate retail value (“ARV”) $50, for one (1) winner.

One (1) Echo Dot Kid’s Edition. Total approx­i­mate retail value (“ARV”) $75, for one (1) First Prize winner.

One (1) Amazon Kid’s Tablet. Total approx­i­mate retail value (“ARV”) $100, for one (1) Grand Prize winner.

One (1) Amazon Fire Tablet. Total approx­i­mate retail value (“ARV”) $50, awarded to one (1) win­ner who RSVP’s via the Mr. Linky widget.

Each win­ner receives one (1) prize pack. Entrants who fail to com­plete said actions will be dis­qual­i­fied and an alter­nate win­ner will be selected from all entrants who entered dur­ing the Twit­ter Party Entry Period. Win­ners will be noti­fied via DM (Direct Mes­sage) on Twit­ter with a request for an email address to send prize claim infor­ma­tion. Win­ners will have 48 hours to complete the prize claim form or an alter­nate win­ner will be selected from amongst all entries received dur­ing the Twit­ter Party Entry Period. All prizes will be awarded pro­vided they are validly claimed by November 19th, 2018 at 11:59AM EST.

Entrants agree to release and hold harm­less the Blog­gin’ Mamas, Heather Lopez Enter­prises, LLC, Twit­ter, and any other orga­ni­za­tions respon­si­ble for spon­sor­ing, ful­fill­ing, admin­is­ter­ing, adver­tis­ing or pro­mot­ing this give­away, and their respec­tive par­ent, sub­sidiaries, and affil­i­ates and each of their respec­tive offi­cers, direc­tors, mem­bers, employ­ees, agents and sub­con­trac­tors (col­lec­tively the “Released Par­ties”) from and against any and all claims, expenses, and lia­bil­ity, includ­ing but not lim­ited to neg­li­gence and dam­ages of any kind to per­sons and prop­erty, includ­ing but not lim­ited to inva­sion of pri­vacy (under appro­pri­a­tion, intru­sion, pub­lic dis­clo­sure of pri­vate facts, false light in the pub­lic eye or other legal the­ory), defama­tion, slan­der, libel, vio­la­tion of right of pub­lic­ity, infringe­ment of trade­mark, copy­right or other intel­lec­tual prop­erty rights, prop­erty dam­age, or death or per­sonal injury aris­ing out of or relat­ing to a participant’s entry, cre­ation of an entry or sub­mis­sion of an entry, par­tic­i­pa­tion in this give­away, accep­tance or use or mis­use of prize. Entrant agrees to indem­nify, defend and hold harm­less the Released Par­ties from and against any and all claims, expenses, and lia­bil­i­ties (includ­ing rea­son­able attorney’s fees) aris­ing out of or relat­ing to an entrant’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in this give­away and/or entrant’s accep­tance, use or mis­use of prize, includ­ing, with­out lim­i­ta­tion, lia­bil­ity for per­sonal injury, dam­age, or loss.

The Released Par­ties make no war­ranties, and hereby dis­claims any and all war­ranties, express or implied, con­cern­ing any prize fur­nished in con­nec­tion with the give­away.

WITHOUT LIMITING THE GENERALITY OF THE FOREGOING, SUCH PRIZES ARE PROVIDEDAS IS

WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AND THE RELEASED PARTIES

HEREBY DISCLAIM ALL SUCH WARRANTIES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF

MERCHANT ABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND/OR NON-INFRINGEMENT.

Dis­clo­sure: Blog­gin’ Mamas is being com­pen­sated for man­ag­ing this Twit­ter Party. Indi­vid­ual co-hosts are being com­pen­sated for their par­tic­i­pa­tion. All prize ful­fill­ment is the respon­si­bil­ity of the sponsor.

3 Reasons to Get Your Kids Interested in History

History is one of those subjects in school that some of us loved, and that others just couldn’t help sleeping through.

Whether or not history seems exciting and interesting to a child will be affected by their temperament and innate interests, but also by the way in which the subject is taught. Endless lists of dates to memorise is unlikely to as fascinating as visiting a reenactment site or hearing an adventurous tale set in the past.

 

While kids generally enjoy fantasy games such as https://finalfantasyxvapp.com/#home, history can be no less exciting and engaging, not to mention educational and informative.

 

Here are some reasons why you should get your kids interested in history if possible, and nurture that interest when it arises.

 

History contains timeless lessons for the present and the future

 

History isn’t just a record of stuff that happened in the past, it is, to a large degree, also a record of the causes and effects of different events, as well as a series of lessons about the ways in which life can unfold and how to live it meaningfully and productively.

 

The events in history may have occurred a long time ago, society may have changed in various ways, and technology may have advanced more than anyone could ever have imagined, but people are fundamentally not very different, and the lessons which applied to the people of yesteryear will likely still apply to people living today.

 

What philosophies did Ancient Greeks and Romans develop to help them face the world courageously? Which ideological viewpoints caused civilisations to fall rather than rise?

 

History is rich with applicable lessons for the present day.

 

History can offer great fuel for the imagination

 

It’s no surprise that the authors of so many great works of fiction (and for that matter, great TV shows) have been ardent fans and students of history. History is, by its very nature, full of incredible sources of inspiration for the imagination to latch onto.

 

When looking back at history, you can see events so strange and wondrous that they’re almost impossible to comprehend. You can hear tales of people living lives uncannily similar to our own, but with the social fabric altered in essential ways.

 

You can read myths and legends of strange creatures that still find their way into popular entertainment today.

 

For any child with an active imagination, studying history can be a great thing.

 

History can help people to appreciate and respect their roots

 

As modern people, often living in relatively peaceful and stable societies, it can be very easy for us to take things for granted, to feel that the blessings we enjoy just fell out of the sky, and to become apathetic about the world, and careless about our responsibilities to our societies.

 

Studying history, however, can teach people to respect their roots and honour the incredible labours and sacrifices of their ancestors — imperfect as they may have been — to create those things that we enjoy today.

 

Not only can this reflection on history help to boost self-esteem, but it can also help to deepen a sense of social responsibility, and the understanding that society can only be maintained through careful effort.

John Glenn Astronomy Park to share hero’s legacy with next generation

Forty miles southeast of Columbus in the secluded and tranquil woods of the Hocking Hills State Park, community members are setting their sights on the sky. Ohio’s Hocking Hills, known for its lack of light pollution and resulting clear night sky views, has always been a mecca for astronomy fanatics. Thus, members of the Friends of Hocking Hills State Park (FHHSP) has broken ground on for John Glenn Astronomy Park, which opens in early 2018. Named for one of America’s greatest heroes and an Ohio native, the park is made possible through generous donations and pledges from community members.

John Glenn Astronomy Park will not only allow visitors to explore the night sky, but will also offer daytime study, welcoming visitors to its Solar Plaza to study the Sun, Earth and the North Celestial Pole, among other celestial features. It is ideal for research, star parties, special events and general daily visitation. Designed by Ohio-based M&A Architects, the Astronomy Park includes:

  • An ideal elevation of 1,000 feet
  • An 80-foot in diameter Solar Plaza, which highlights the Sun’s orientation to the Earth as it changes throughout the year and is encircled by a low wall with notches that offer framed views of the Sun on key days
  • An enclosed 540-square-foot observatory featuring a retractable roof to permit night sky viewing
  • Gathering areas
  • Open green space
  • Plenty of free parking

Perhaps the most famous Ohioan with an eye on the cosmos, John Glenn, agreed to lend his name to the park, giving it his blessing shortly before passing away on Dec. 8, 2016.

“The Friends of Hocking Hills State Park organization is honored to move forward with a project that will bear Glenn’s name and legacy for years to come, with a focus on educating and engaging visitors,” said Julieann Burroughs, president of the FHHSP Board of Directors. “The park will spark an interest in science, exploration and astronomy among guests of all ages and is expected to become a meaningful scientific research facility.”

Preliminary design for John Glenn Astronomy Park is complete and construction of the park, which is located next to Old Man’s Cave in Hocking Hills State Park is well underway. Land for the astronomy park will be leased to the Friends organization by ODNR for $1. As observatories statewide find their views obscured by increasing light pollution, the facility will solidify Hocking Hills’ reputation as one of the country’s last great pollution-free spots for stargazing. The region draws more than 3 million visitors annually from around the globe, with most coming to experience its unspoiled natural environment.

“In addition to miles and miles of trails through dense forests, stunning rock formations and rushing waterfalls, our star-filled skies get high marks from visitors,” said Hocking Hills Tourism Association Executive Director Karen Raymore. “The Tourism Association is thrilled at the opportunity to offer one more reason for travelers to visit the region and a new way for them to experience another natural attraction, which has been here since the dawn of time.”