Astronomy, Aerospace and Environmental 

By Greg Lopatka

  1. Comets, Collisions and Catastrophes
  2. Astronomy on the Internet
  3. Rocket to Mars (Trek into Space)
  4. Space Travel Past, Present and Future 
  5. Greatest Robots
  6. Build a Rocket
  7. Lights, Camera, Read!
  8. "Great Explorers, Past Present and Future"

This program was featured in the 2003 July 4th edition of the Bolingbrook Sun.  Click here to read the article.

Rocket to Mars was featured in the Bolingbrook Sun on June 22, 2007.  


More Pictures

"Trek into Space" at the Romeoville Library

E-mail Greg Lopatka


Comets, Collisions and Catastrophes

 Hale-Bopp is gone and It will not return for 3400 years, it is time to view the images left behind.  Hale-Bopp is several times larger than Halley.  It was the best comet of my life time.
Comet Hyakutake put on a show as it zipped past the earth at 90,000 miles per hour on it's race toward the Sun, missing us by 9 million miles on March 25,1996.  I have some great pictures of Hyakutake and Hale Bobb from the Internet that I can project on a large screen with an overhead projector.
 My program "Comets, Collisions and Catastrophes"  features color transparencies of comets, planets and galaxies It is listed in the  Harvest of Resources Directory.

Astronomy on the Internet

" Astronomy on the Internet"  features color transparencies of comets, planets, galaxies  and Nebula that have been downloaded from the Internet.  If you have a large screen and LCD projector hooked to a computer with an internet connection, I can present a live Internet program where we can surf to some of the coolest cosmic sites, using my web site for quick links.  All I need is a phone line, I have a Laptop computer and Internet connection.  We can do a "Science on the net" program that will include, neat Dinosaur, Ecology,  Weather and Bug sites. We can "surf the net" for signs of extra terrestrial life in the Universe.
 The patrons of Northbrook, Barrington, Lake Zurich, Addison and Ela Area library were the first to experience a  live internet show.  Attendance and reception were very favorable.  The Addison show was video taped for local Cable TV.
 I am a retired Science Lab Teacher.  I taught astronomy at Adler Planetarium from 1980-1993.  Give me a call and reserve your date.  I am available when you need me.

Other Shows:
"Rocket to Mars"
we explore the principals of rocketry with demonstrations and slides. We end the program with a Rocket Launch in the parking lot.
"Space Travel Past, Present and Future" See outline
"Greatest Robots" (Voyager, Galileo and Viking) We explore all of the wonders of the universe that these explorers discovered with slides and video.
"Build a Rocket" (Hands on activity for 5th grade and up) Click here for rocket plans.
"Lights, Camera,  Read" Children read a passage or paragraph from their favorite book in front of the "Lights and Camera.".  Then I read  from my favorite book, October Sky (Rocket Boys) by Homer Hickam.  The camera is connected to a large screen TV, so that children can see their friends and themselves read.   I can also take digital still pictures of each child and print them a souvenir copy that they can take home.  I have a photo quality printer that can do this without much cost. ($25)  I could have them ready in a day or two.  You could then use the pictures as an incentive for the children to show up at your next event, or at an "end of summer" party.

            I end the program with a demonstration and an explanation of the principles of rocketry followed by a rocket launch in the parking lot.  I'll have a VHS video of the event that you can use in any way that you want.  (Local Cable TV, make copies and sell or give them away)

            I like to use October Sky with children because is shows them how Homer and the Rocket Boys used the school Science Fair to get out of the coal mine and pave their way to college and a career.

"Great Explorers, Past Present and Future"    We will relive the discoveries of the greatest explorers of the past 200 years, starting with early explorers like Lewis and Clark and the Astorians and continuing with the Space explorers of the 1960s like John Glenn, Neil Armstrong and Sally Ride.  We will even check out the greatest robot explorers like Pioneer 10, Voyagers 1 and 2, the Viking, Hubble Space Telescope, Galileo, Pathfinder, Cassini and the newest explorers that are roaming the planet Mars right now.  After we explore all of the wonders that these explorers discovered with slides and hands on objects and demonstrations, we can take a telescope outside on a clear night to look at the real things.  If it is a daytime program, we can launch a rocket in the parking lot.

My Fee is $395.00

I will develop a program to meet your theme.


   Acorn, Addison, Alsip, Barrington, Bartlett, Bativa, Bedford Park, Bellwood, Bensenville, Bridgeview, Calumet City, Carol Stream, Chicago Heights, Chicago Ridge, Cook Memorial, Crest Hill, Deerfield, Downers Grove, Ela Area, Elmhurst, Forest Park, Fountaindale, Glenview, Green Hills, Highland Park, Homewood, La Grange Park, Lake Villa, Lemont, Lisle, Mayfair, Mabel Manning, Mt. Prospect, Naperville, Nichols, , Northbrook, Oak Lawn, Orland Park, Park Ridge, Poplar Creek, Prairie Trails, Rolling Meadows, Roselle, Shaumburg, Schiller Park, St. Charles, Vernon Area, Villa Park, West Lawn and Wilmette
 AUDIENCE:   Children 5 and up and family shows.

Teaching Experience

School       Grade             Subject                                Year
Beethoven   5th               Departmental Science             1962-63
Beethoven   3rd              General Classroom                 1964-67
Beethoven   4th              General Classroom                 1968-70
Beethoven   4th              ESEA Reading                        1971-74
Camp Ravenswood 11 th&12th Guidance Counselor   1974-75
Camp Ravenswood 3rd-8th Naturalist                         1975-76
Camp Ravenswood Administrator Coordinator          1976-80
Randolph   6th              General Classroom                1980-81
Randolph   7th-8th        Language Arts                       1982-84
Randolph   7th-8th        Departmental Science            1985-86
Randolph   4th-8th        Science Lab                           1986-98
Randolph    Science and Technology Coordinator      1998-2000
Randolph   4th-6th Science Lab       2001

Adler Planetarium    Astronomy Instructor               1980-94
Adler Planetarium   Sky Show Presenter                   1987-89
GLOBE environmental teacher and teacher trainer  1995-2004
Presenter of  over 150 Astronomy, Internet and Rocket shows at Illinois Libraries.

Program Outline for "Space Travel, Past, Present, and future".

I. Space Exploration History
 A. Lunar
 B. Inner Planets
 C. Outer Planets

II. Current & Future Events
 A. Hubble Repairs
 B. Galileo Probe of Jupiter
 C. Mars Visit
 D. Casinni Probe of Saturn
III. Current Sky
 A.Perseid Meteor Shower 8/11-12
 B. Jupiter and Saturn
 C. Cygnus, Aquila,and Lyra (Summer Triangle)

IV. Internet Space Travel
 A. Lopatka Links
 B. NASA Links
 C. Astronomy Links

E-mail Greg Lopatka at
Or call me at (630) 964-3304

Astronomy Links

Thanks to Lindsey Weiss for the following: 

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