Mason’s Musings March 18th, 2023
Happy spring forward time everyone! I hope you’re all adjusting well to the time change and relishing in that extra hour of daylight. In more illuminating news our e-book service SimplyE should be back up and running! All you need to log in is to enter your library card barcode number for the username and the last four digits of your phone number for the password.
The Spring Equinox is just around the corner, so on March 20th we’ll have an equal amount of time for both day and night! Though the equinoxes and solstices aren’t as visually impressive as some other celestial events (such as eclipses or shooting stars), I’ve always found them very interesting and somewhat magical. Speaking of celestial events, this week’s lesser known lady of history is astronomer Cecilia Payne.
Back in 1919 when Payne was studying at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom scientists and astronomers alike agreed that the stars and sun were made of the same materials that made up Earth. Moving from Cambridge UK to Cambridge Massachusetts Payne became the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in astronomy from Harvard’s sister college Radcliffe University. In her doctoral thesis she proved that the sun and stars were mostly made up of hydrogen and helium. Of course, back then she was dissuaded from publishing her findings since they were so “radical” for that time.
Even though her findings changed the game of astronomy, Payne spent 11 whole years as a mere technical assistant before she was officially given the title of astronomer. However, in 1954 she became the first woman in Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences to become a full-fledged professor. Then, rising even higher, she became the first woman to hold a department head position at Harvard.
Cecilia Payne reminds girls everywhere to reach for the stars and to always pursue their dream no matter how long it takes. I hope you all enjoyed learning about Cecilia Payne as much as I enjoyed researching her! Wishing you all a great week and a happy spring equinox!
Library Events 3/18 – 3/25:
Tuesday March 21st– Come connect with other home-schooling parents and students at Home School Meet-Up. This month Joy will present an exciting interactive science lesson on capillary action in plants. There will be several hands-on activities throughout the lesson allowing home-schoolers of all ages a chance to participate and observe this interesting part of the plant world.
Wednesday March 22nd – Children’s Hour with Ms. Katie! Bring the little ones for story-time with Ms. Katie. Stories, songs, activities, and crafts are all part of the fun. Children’s Hour starts at 10:00 AM and occurs every Wednesday of each month (excluding January and August).
Friday March 24th – Fourth Friday Free Play! From 11:00 AM to Noon. Preschoolers and their adults are invited to come join the fun every fourth Friday of the month for an unstructured play time in the KPL Meeting Room. Available toys will rotate each month, but there will always be reading, art, and play centers.