About Us

Welcome to Star in a Star – Physical Astronomy

Cartoon image of Daniel Cummings from Croton-On-Hudson, NY

This site is created and curated by Daniel Cummings. It is for sharing and teaching Physical Astronomy concepts.

Daniel lives in Croton-On-Hudson, NY. If you’d like to get in touch, please send a message using the Contact Us link.

The Mission

Kids (and their adults) should experience science through innovative, immersive storytelling and expert “intervention.” Through these experiences they gain memorable, “aha” moments which foster ongoing observation and scientific thinking as a way of life.

The Method

I’m Daniel Cummings. I started this blog in December 2016 as a way to capture and share information on a new and unique way to understand and teach Astronomy. The teaching concepts I create are designed to appeal to a wide audience. The articles, images, and downloads are full of physical, thought-provoking approaches. These unique experiences foster insights into how you locate yourself on the Earth, in the solar system, in the galaxy, and beyond.

Physical Astronomy Events

Daniel Cummings with telescope at a Star PartyI have a collection of camp and school programming for 1-2 hour daytime events. Also, I host formal and informal star parties at night, taking groups on constellation “tours” and storytelling.

Past events include: outdoor monthly star parties for school and community members in Croton-On-Hudson, NY, Cub Scout and Boy Scout “scale model walks”, overnight star viewing events, indoor and outdoor Summer Camp programming like the “Moondance” and “Starry Night North Star Storytelling” (also available in the Winter and Spring off-seasons).

I also run workshops and tutorials on how to use the incredible Stellarium software.

In my local community I’ve worked with other STEM educators and the school district to create and brand a new type of Science Fair called “Experience Science.” As well, I’ve written and received full funding for a Croton-Harmon Educational Fund (CHEF) grant to purchase 2 large, professional telescopes and astrophotography equipment for the district.

Physical Astronomy Education

I approach Astronomy Education in a unique way designed to engage kids (and their parents). I call it “Physical Astronomy.”

Yes, you will learn the science of Astronomy, but you will also begin to understand it comprehensively with your body. And where the body understands, the mind follows.

Learn about space and to feel how you fit in it.

Learn ways to begin to know your position on Earth and feel it moving.

You will learn how to conjure a feeling of standing on a globe that is traveling widely and yearly through space, in orbit, around a star.

You will learn to use the moon to orient yourself to the sun.

You will walk around constellations and see the stars in 3D.

You will be able to “see” the Milky Way even when it is behind the Sun.

What people are saying

You are indeed ‘The Star Man’ bringing stars on a cloudy night. I loved your use of multimedia and thought the planetarium software and storytelling worked well. I learned new things and know everyone learned and enjoyed. Well done! Thank you Dan.” 

– Cathy Deutchman, Camp Director Sprout Westchester, Croton, NY

The program was great! Thanks for inviting us. I most enjoyed learning the story behind the constellations.

– Selcuk Eren, Parent

I enjoyed the visual of how the stars rotate around Polaris.

– Lane Shea, Parent

“Wow! What’s that? How do you do that?”

– Kids when they see the laser pointer demonstration

 

Feedback about the Starry Night Orion’s Bellybutton program

“Dan, what a wonderful evening! My son is still talking about Orion. I loved the ingenuity of your 3D viewing station. Excellent!!!”

-Rachel Wimpee (parent)

 

Mom and Daughter inside the Orion's Bellybutton Sculpture“We all really enjoyed Starry night – it was fun and informative!”-Justine DeLeon (parent)

 

“It was super fun!”

-E.N. (15 year old)

“Thanks for another successful Starry Night. I appreciate the thought you put into making it happen, and your passion for your subject matter. I look forward to the next one!”

– Cathy Deutchman – Camp Director Sprout Westchester, Croton, NY