Stargaze at ScienceWorks in May

Celebrate National Astronomy Day at ScienceWorks on Saturday, May 10.

ScienceWorks will have special astronomy-themed activities through the day and into the night. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. check out the new Outreach to Space Exhibition. See star shows at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. At 7:30 p.m. the Southern Oregon Skywatchers will present an introduction to astronomy with short presentations on "A Guide to the Night Sky" and "How to Use a Telescope." At 8:30 p.m. participants will go outside with telescopes for a "Hands-On Star Party."

This event launches the Ashland Fiber Network Telescope Lending Program at ScienceWorks, where ScienceWorks members can borrow a telescope for one month free of charge.

"This is a terrific educational outreach program that would not be possible without the teamwork of all three organizations," said Joseph Franell, director of information technology for the city of Ashland. "I hope that many members of our community, young and old, take advantage of this opportunity."

On May 17 and 18 the museum will be closed during regular business hours, but on the night of Saturday, May 17, from 6:30 to 11 p.m. the museum will be in full swing. ScienceWorks will celebrate its fifth year of exploring the sensory experience of wine with a true demonstration of both science and art.

The annual fundraising event is an interactive exploration of the science of winemaking, with the region's finest foods and wines. Not your typical wine tasting, the evening is the "ultimate sensory experience" with exhibits and demonstrations as well as food and wine. The event also offers wine enthusiasts the opportunity to meet and talk one-on-one with the area's best winemakers, wine growers and restaurateurs.

The evening will feature interactive wine tasting exhibits, discussions with wine experts, live music by AnnieMac and Charley Pagani and Friends and a live and silent auction.

This year, the live auction will feature a private dinner party and concert by Jeff Pevar and Inger Jorgenson, a week in Sedona, Ariz., during the Sedona Jazz Festival, a private London Bus wine tasting adventure for 30, jewelry, an escape into the California Wine Country and more.

Last year's event was completely sold out with more than 375 guests. This year, ScienceWorks has added more space and expects to sell 400 tickets. The event successfully raised more than $60,000 for the museum's education programs last year, and this year the goal is $80,000.

"Every year the event gets bigger and better," Science of Wine event chair Deneice Zeve said. "Most importantly, the Science of Wine allows us to support informal learning opportunities that inspire children from more than 9 counties and 22 school districts, reaching more than 50,000 visitors a year."

Tickets for "The Science of Wine," are $55 for ScienceWorks members and $65 for nonmembers. The event will be held on May 17 from 6:30 to 10 p.m. with dancing until 11 p.m. at ScienceWorks.

Finally, ScienceWorks will be opening a new exhibit, "Tech City," on May 24, featuring 12 interactive activity stations and exhibits that allow visitors to solve real-world problems that engineers face each day.

Build a structure that will hold up under the force of an earthquake. Design a building using blocks, set the strength of the quake, and then watch to see if the building remains standing or falls down.

At the "Traffic Jam" exhibit, visitors use a computer program to adjust simulated traffic flow by changing the timing of traffic lights at several intersections.

Visitors can also experiment with sound engineering and producing their own recordings using a variety of sound effects. Visitors can also design a model for a city plaza, dam the creek to prevent it from flooding, build a bridge and more.

The "Tech City" exhibition was developed by the Sciencenter and Cornell University with funding from the National Science Foundation and is sponsored locally by Adroit Construction.

ScienceWorks, located at 1500 East Main in Ashland, is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 12 to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 for seniors and children 2 to 12, $7.50 for adults, and free for members and children under 2.

For more information, call 482-6767 or visit .

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