For grades: Grades 3 and up.
Requirements for live visit: No special requirements.
Fees for live visit: $475 and up /day long visit.
Funding: MA schools can apply for funding for The Starry Messenger through local arts lottery councils.
Living History Portraitist »
We all loved your visit!!... We hope to be able to invite you each year! --- --Teacher, McCarthy Towne School, Acton, MA
To many the Universe is a closed book of secrets never to be read. Almost four hundred years ago, an unknown court mathematician in Italy opened that book and laid the foundation of modern science. Galileo Galilei turned his telescope to the heavens to discover mountains and craters on the Moon, four moons of Jupiter, and countless stars never before seen. Even more significant was his method of observation and mathematical analysis. He taught future scientis the way to discover the laws of nature.
The Starry Messenger is a dramatic, fun filled adaptation of Galileo's short treatise Siderius Nuncius. Galileo arrives at your school to present a public lecture on his most recent discoveries made using his newly devised spyglass. As he describes those discoveries, Galileo's new method of observation and measurement of nature become apparent. Throughout the presentation students are actively involved in experiments and demonstrations. After the lecture, Galileo visits classrooms to meet students, answer their questions and learn about the experiments of your esteemed young scientists.
Mike Francis (MS, Ohio University, Interdisciplinary Studies, MA, Ohio University, Physics, BS Ed, Fitchburg State College, Physics) has been bringing Astronomy to schools, libraries and museums throughout New England and across the country for over thirty years. After ten years as a lecturer, photographer and writer at the Charles Hayden Planetarium at Boston's Museum of Science, he branched out on his own with his Galileo Galilei the Starry Messenger, The Stargazer's Apprentice and Night Skies programs.
In addition, Mike is a professional actor on stage, screen and television and a member of the Screen Actors Guild, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and Actors Equity Association. As an actor educator he belongs to the International Museum Theatre Alliance, the International Planetarium Society and SoloTogether (the organization of New England historical performers).
By combining science and theatre, Mike has been able to reach students who previously had no interest in the wonders of our Universe. Galileo recently visited the Space Telescope Science Institute, Carnegie Science Center, the Franklin Institute, Virginia Living Musuem, National Air and Space Museum and several astronomical conventions as part of the International Year of Astronomy, a celebration of the 400th anniversary of Galileo's use of the telescope.