Soar Together @ Air and Space: Solstice
June 18 to 20, 2021
This month’s Soar Together virtual family day is all about observing and celebrating the June solstice! On this page you’ll find different ways your family can take part in the celebration, whether it’s by participating in our Virtual Planetarium Show, watching the latest Flights of Fancy Storytime video, or doing several brilliant hands-on Sun Celebration activities to experiment with sunlight and shadows, and use the Sun as a directional tool.
To make the most out of your Solstice experience, we highly recommend that you do the Sun Celebration activities before the June 20 solstice and then join our weekend-long GooseChase At-Home Family Challenge to share some of your creations and win even more points in the game.
The Sun isn't the only thing shining this solstice weekend. Celebrate how science shines in your life by joining us for Sally's Night, a virtual celebration honoring astronaut Sally Ride's first spaceflight on June 18, 1983.
Through the activities below, we hope you and your family get outside and look up!
Friday, June 18, All Day
In honor of the anniversary of Sally Ride becoming the first American woman in space, celebrate and share what about space and science brings you energy, passion, curiosity, and joy. Whatever your passion, whoever you are, tell us how you #ShineLikeSally on social media and use the free Sally's Night Celebration Guide with your family to be inspired like Sally, explore like Sally, and share your love of space like Sally. Learn more.
Virtual Planetarium Show: Solstices on Other Worlds
Saturday, June 19, 11 am ET
Join educators from the Museum as we explore solstices on other worlds in our solar system. This event will take place on Zoom webinar with live closed captions. Register for this live discussion in advance to get a reminder. On June 19 at 11 am ET, the Zoom webinar can be accessed at this link (passcode 819615).
At-Home Family Challenge on GooseChase App
Saturday, June 19, 12 pm ET through Monday, June 21, 5 am ET
Join our monthly At-Home Family Challenge using the app GooseChase. These challenges are like a virtual scavenger hunt with fun missions, activities and photo challenges for you and your friends and family to do together. Earn points with every activity you complete!
This month’s challenge is all about solstices on Earth and on other worlds. This challenge will start right after the Virtual Planetarium Show and runs through the last sunset of the solstice. You can play at your own pace and are encouraged to spend time out of the house to accomplish some of the missions. The At-Home Challenge will also feature missions and questions related to the virtual planetarium show, solstice activities, and Sally’s Night. You will have a big advantage in the game if you can join these other activities!
Participants can join the game by following these simple steps below. We encourage you to sign up early and start your game with some ‘bonus’ points.
- Download the GooseChase iOS or Android app.
- Choose to play as a guest or register for a personal account with a username and password of your choice.
- Search for and select the June Solstice game with code X3KE8D.
- Follow the prompts to select or create your team.
Our judges will be monitoring periodically throughout the weekend until 8:00 pm ET Sunday, June 20, responding to your answers and adding bonuses for the best work. The game will stay open until 5:00 am ET, Monday, June 21, so everyone can play until the sunset in their time zone. Entries submitted later than 8:00 pm ET will be reviewed on Monday, June 21, and winners will be officially recognized on the Goosechase app by the end of Monday.
Sun Celebration Activities
Try out these hands-on activities at home or outside, and explore how to track how the Sun travels across our skies, how to set up your own in-home Sun-tracker, and how to build your own unique Sun shadow sculpture. Feel free to pick and choose the activities you want to do, or do them all!
Activities are designed for families with kids in elementary school and older. Please see individual activities for specific age ranges.
Make Your Own:
Family Fun With Our Youngest Sun Explorers
In a story from our popular virtual Flights of Fancy Story Time series, the Sun visits their star friends that can be found in our neighborhood of the Milky Way. We find out the Sun’s friends are all different colors and sizes, but they are all stars. After the story, museum educator Ann Caspari will make shadow puppets that you can play with in the sunlight.
Soar Together @ Air and Space is made possible by the generous support of Northrop Grumman.