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HN-EDI257 Educational Insights

Educational Insights Nancy Bs Science Club Moonscope and Sky Gazers Activity Journal

Item # HN-EDI257
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  • Educational Insights Nancy Bs Science Club Moonscope and Sky Gazers Activity Journal
  • Educational Insights Nancy Bs Science Club Moonscope and Sky Gazers Activity Journal
  • Educational Insights Nancy Bs Science Club Moonscope and Sky Gazers Activity Journal
  • Educational Insights Nancy Bs Science Club Moonscope and Sky Gazers Activity Journal
Educational Insights Nancy Bs Science Club Moonscope and Sky Gazers Activity Journal

Dimensions & Specifications

Brand
Educational Insights
Category
Astronomy and Space
Dimensions
4.3D x 19.7W x 8.7H in.
Recommended Age
8 years and up
Theme
Space & Rockets

Product Guarantee

Return & Exchange Policy

  • Includes a 22-page activity journal, finder scope, and more
  • Comes with a 4mm and a 20mm all-glass eyepieces
  • Requires 3 AA batteries (not included)
  • Features a tripod with built-in red LED light
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Full Description
Specifications
Delivery Options
Guarantee & Returns
Customer Reviews

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
Educational Insights Nancy Bs Science Club Moonscope and Sky Gazers Activity Journal
 
4.0

(based on 43 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (13)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (23)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (4)

88%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Educational (22)
  • Engaging (19)
  • Interactive (16)
  • Lots of fun (16)
  • Durable (13)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Entertainment (12)
  • Young children (12)
  • Older children (11)
  • Travel (4)
  • Outdoors (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Parent of two or more children (12), Education oriented (8), Stay at home parent (8), Grandparent (3)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • Yes (13), No (12)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

LOVE this! And it is very well made

We took this on a camping trip and the kids had a great time with it. Well made the the booklet just added to it being such a great find.

We took this on a camping trip and the kids had a great time with it. Well made the the booklet just added to it being such a great find.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Not Recommended - Parents should do some

Two Quick Points:

First, the best advice for first time telescope buyers is to attend a "star party" given by an astronomy club in your location. You'll be...Read complete review

Two Quick Points:

First, the best advice for first time telescope buyers is to attend a "star party" given by an astronomy club in your location. You'll be invited to look through members' telescopes and you'll come away with a first-hand appreciation of what to expect in the areas of capability, price and availability. You'll also get an idea of what your child might be able to handle.

Second, even a bare-as-bone telescope designed for a beginner can be expensive. For example, what might be called the standard telescope for a moderately interested amateur astronomer, a six-inch Dobsonian reflector, will cost over $200. And for what some people might call high-end or professional telescopes the prices begin in the thousands.

This may be why the time-honored advice given by experienced amateur astronomers to the parental question what should I get for a child just taking an interest in the sky has been a pair of binoculars and a good star map or beginner's book, such as "Turn Left at Orion". Most binoculars have acceptable optical performance, are relatively inexpensive and will still be of some use if the astronomy interest doesn't pan out.

But practically all beginners want a bona fide telescope, an instrument that will "really show something". So there is a market for small telescopes aimed at beginners and children. Frankly, most if not all of them will show lunar craters, Jupiter's four Galilean moons and Jupiter's two prominent cloud bands on a good night. While all of these telescopes make compromises of some sort to be affordable, but all should meet some basic requirements and of course some will be better at that than others.

I can't recommend Educational Insights Nancy B'S Science Club Moonscope because there are a number of beginner telescopes roughly in the same price range, for example Celestron's 70mm Travel Scope or their Cometron FirstScope that have better fundamentals and will perform better.

The Moonscope has a clear aperture of 45mm (the diameter of its lens. Both of the Celestron units are larger in aperture. They will resolve details more clearly and capture more light. Both should be easier to use and will accept some standard accessories if a child's astronomy interest grows.

Here are some basic requirements that any telescope should meet:

1. A TELESCOPE SHOULD BE RIGIDLY MOUNTED. The legs of the Moonscope are plastic and will easily transfer vibrations should they or the surface on which the scope is set up is bumped. Also because the Moonscope and its tripod are extremely light a good breeze will give it the shakes. Few things are more aggravating than trying to observe something through a vibrating telescope. Having to "fight the telescope" could really deaden a child's interest. All beginners telescopes have this problem, but it's especially obvious with the Moonscope due to its construction.

2. A FINDER SCOPE SHOULD CLEARLY SHOW AND HELP PINPOINT A TARGET. Like the cross hairs on a rifle, a telescope finder helps you point the more powerful main scope at a target which would be difficult or impossible to center using the main scope alone. Usually, they are adjustable, but the finder on the Moonscope is not. It's a pre-aligned plastic tube that's partially closed at one end. Unfortunately, it's next to useless. It totally distorts the image of the Moon and using it to point the Moonscope at Jupiter, a really bright star-like object, was just about impossible. I gave up and pointed the telescope by sighting up the main tube – a skill picked up over the years. Most beginner scopes include a small telescopic finder and an adequate finder should be considered a necessity if a child is to use the telescope.

3. A TELESCOPE SHOULD HAVE GOOD OPTICS. The Moonscope comes with two eyepieces, a 20mm and a 4mm. The view through the 20mm is acceptable, but the image produced by a binocular of comparable magnification is significantly sharper. When compared to the image produced by a slightly larger, but more expensive telescope with more expensive eyepieces, the difference is clearly obvious.

The 4mm eyepiece indicated as giving a magnification of 90 is a bit of a disaster. First the power is at the limit recommended for a scope of this size, even with perfect optics and great seeing conditions. The views that one would normally get at this power, even with expensive equipment, will be disappointing – a bit dark and "mushy". But the 4mm eyepiece is far from being optically perfect. Move the object you're viewing to the periphery of the field of view and it turns into a "blob". After using the 4mm a few times, I put it permanently in my pocket.

Also eyepieces for modern astronomical telescopes come in two standard diameters, 1.25 and 2 inches. The Moonscope eyepieces are smaller and non-standard. You have only the two eyepieces that come with the Moonscope. Starter scopes, such as those mentioned above, use standard eyepieces so other eyepieces with different magnifications or fields of view (and things like filters which fit them) can be added.

A NITPICK. The Moonscope comes with a permanently attached star diagonal (the device that bends the light path 90 degrees and accepts the eyepieces). A diagonal presents a "mirror" image of what you're viewing. North is north, south is south, but east and west are reversed. This is mentioned in the activity journal that comes with the Moonscope. However, the lunar chart in the activity journal shows the Moon in its normal orientation. This could be confusing for a youngster trying to navigate the lunar surface and identify its features.

Sparking a child's interest in astronomy is a laudable goal. It can lead to a lifetime of interest, activity or in some cases, even a profession. Taking a bit of care with regard to the tools a child will use to explore the sky for the first time can make all the difference.

Reviewed by 43 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Great intro to night sky gazing

By Kristy Milkov

from New York, NY

Comments about Educational Insights Nancy Bs Science Club Moonscope and Sky Gazers Activity Journal:

I have two children, ages 4 and 6, and I feel that this product is a great introduction to night sky gazing for them. For sure, it isn't as powerful as a telescope that you spend more money on, but I don't think that is the point. For my boisterous kids who get really excited and want to carry it around themselves and explore the night sky and the moon, it is perfect. I don't have to worry about it breaking! Also, it has sparked an interest in the night sky for them (and for my Kindergartner especially), and that is exactly what I expected and wanted it to do. She loves the journal, and the sense of independence and exploration and discovery she gets from using the telescope and the journal together. My only issue with it was it really only worked in the very pitch dark - we used it in a rural area that was pretty dark and even then we had to be pretty far away from the house lights in order to see anything.

 
4.0

Great Beginner Moonscope!! Moon Map a Must Have!!

By Orion

from New York, NY

Comments about Educational Insights Nancy Bs Science Club Moonscope and Sky Gazers Activity Journal:

I bought this for my 1st grader and she was so excited to see the moon with it!! She was able to put it together and she didn't need the instruction manual. What did take a little more time is learning how to focus the moonscope!! I would definitely recommend having the kids practice during the daytime before doing it at night. Its very easy for them to confuse the 20mm and 4mm lens in the dark so it would be nice if it was color coded so you could tell the difference at night.

What is awesome is not just the moonscape, but the activity journal with a Moon Map!!! It provides suggestions about what the children should look for on the surface of the moon.

I would definitely recommend this to get the kids interested in looking up at the sky, whether it be for the Moon, stars, planets, or constellations! I also have a 4 year and he was also able to use the moonscape as well. He was probably even more excited!!!

 
4.0

My girls are excited about science!

By Kimberly Brabec

from Temecula, CA

Comments about Educational Insights Nancy Bs Science Club Moonscope and Sky Gazers Activity Journal:

I am continually amazed by the quality of the Nancy B & Educational Insights products. Most "toys" that are promoted for kids are made cheaply and not great quality. This is definitely not the case with Nancy B and Educational Insights. While still plastic they look and perform like the real thing. And the best part they have gotten my girls really excited about science. We can't wait to share our Moonscope with our Girl Scout troop on our first campout.

 
5.0

Nancy B's Moon Scope

By Tia Jeanius

from Champlin, MN

Comments about Educational Insights Nancy Bs Science Club Moonscope and Sky Gazers Activity Journal:

Nancy B's moon scope is a great beginner telescope. We ordered it for my son but the entire family enjoyed it. My son who is 8 loves the activity journal that also came with it. He was able to track the moon for the entire month and enjoyed learning more about the moon in the journal. The telescope itself was easy to use and could see clearly when gazing into the night. My 4 year old daughter also enjoyed seeing all of the planets and learning more about all the fun facts in the journal. I would recommend this product for the entire family.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

An incredible experience to be had (if you are persistent)

By Just a mom

from St. Paul, MN

Comments about Educational Insights Nancy Bs Science Club Moonscope and Sky Gazers Activity Journal:

Having had ZERO prior experience with telescopes of any kind, I was slightly overwhelmed by the set up and instructions* for this scope. It took some time to get acquainted with the scope and I honestly was NOT looking forward to getting outside in the chilly autumn temperatures to figure this thing out, but my 7 year old was desperate to see how it worked, so I appeased her. :) She located the crescent moon just above the treetops, so I got down on the ground and set it up for her. Again, I was frustrated because the finder scope on the side was pretty useless in the dark. Also, the tripod is very very short, so I was literally laying down on the ground trying to set it up for her. I could have brought a table outside, I suppose, but that wasn't practical for us at the time, so we worked with what we had.
I ALMOST gave up trying to find the moon, but, with one final try, I was able to see a glimpse of light through the eyepiece. I turned the focus knob very slowly and gently (which was also hard to do as the tripod is not stable and with each jiggle of my hand I lost focus), but suddenly there it was -- the most beautiful live picture of the moon I have ever, personally, seen. My daughter was able to see it too, which made it totally worth it. Overall, this was an incredible experience to share with her as we could literally see the craters in such a clear sharp picture. Wow!! I tried to focus in with the higher power lens, but was unsuccessful. I'm hoping with a bit more practice and patience we will conquer this toy, eventually.
It's hard to know how to rate it as it really was an amazing experience if you have a bit of stick-to-it-ivness, but my kids (ages 7, 10 12) would not have been able to figure it out on their own. I would give it 2 stars for ease of use, 3 for age-appropriateness, 3 for educational value, 4 for the overall quality of the toy and activity journal, and 5 for the wow-factor when you finally DO see the moon.

 
3.0

Great for daytime use!

By KKA

from South Jersey

Comments about Educational Insights Nancy Bs Science Club Moonscope and Sky Gazers Activity Journal:

My nine year old daughter received this telescope and immediately went to work putting it together herself. A few times I tried to ease frustrations and assist her, but she was quite adamant that she complete the project herself. She was able to put it together and was quite excited to use it. Thus far, our evening attempts to star gaze were quite limited, whether due to the weather or because we were unable to get a very crisp view of the moon. We also tried it during the day to investigate the trees and animals in our neighborhood and had more success with being able to bring things into focus.

I asked my daughter to provide her own review and here were her thoughts:

I think it worked decently. I prefer to use it in the daytime because things look better. When I tried at night, it was pitch black, even when I pointed at the moon and stars. However, whenever I looked through it, it was blurry, with both lenses. I could focus in on objects, but I could not see as clearly as I'd like to. I like how light and flexible the scope is and the color scheme was nice, as well as the tiny planets and stars on the body of the scope. Overall, I think it is more of a telescope because it was not the best for looking at the moon, but I liked it and thought it was very fun to explore. The activity journal was very interesting and the activities were really fun. I would really like to use more of your products.

(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Great intro to astronomy!

By MJ the mom

from Philadelphia, PA

Comments about Educational Insights Nancy Bs Science Club Moonscope and Sky Gazers Activity Journal:

Son is a little younger for this than recommended, however he is really enjoying it! I love the size, which is perfect for him. There was a little more set-up than I prefer. Nothing crazy, but it wasn't a take-out-of-the-box and use type of toy. Other than that, it has been great and is on the list for holiday gifts to give!

 
3.0

Included Activity Journal is Great!

By Emma Guillory

from Lafayette, LA

Comments about Educational Insights Nancy Bs Science Club Moonscope and Sky Gazers Activity Journal:

This Nancy B Science Club Moonscope was like all of the products in this line: beautifully packaged and really pops to give as a gift. Our five year old daughter was thrilled to open it and see what was inside. We have found it difficult to see. We could not see the stars at all, and while we could see the full moon, it wasn't as clear as we had hoped. But, this is a very cheap price for a telescope, and it's good to gauge your little one's interest before you spend the big bucks. Also, the included Moonscope Journal is a really great guide for giving a child some ideas as to the different things you can look at in the night sky.

 
4.0

My son lo-lo-lo-lo-loved it!!!!!

By TM

from IL

Comments about Educational Insights Nancy Bs Science Club Moonscope and Sky Gazers Activity Journal:

I got the MoonScope and Sky Gazer's Activity Journal for my son in first grade who loves science. When it arrived, he was very excited and couldn't wait to get it out of the box. It is purple and a blueish green color, and does look like it's designed with girls in mind. However, my son didn't comment on the colors and it didn't deter him from using it. My husband said it was very simple and quick to assemble. It is small and lightweight; my son carried it outside.

The 20mm eyepiece was good for viewing the moon. We were able to see some of the surface features shown on the moon map in the journal. The 4mm eyepiece was much more susceptible to vibrations and the moon would leave the field of view much more quickly than compared to the 20mm one. My son needed help adjusting the focus, but got the hang of it more after playing with it. Our neighbor saw us outside using it and stopped over to take a look. She was impressed with the quality for a children's telescope in this price range.

Although we saw some stars in the sky with the naked eye, we couldn't view them with the MoonScope. It does say in the journal that it's hard to see details of stars with the MoonScope because of their distance. We did not view Saturn or Jupiter, but we didn't try to locate them either. It is called a MoonScope, so the name itself implies that it is designed for viewing the moon; not for the stars and other planets. It is a child's toy and not supposed to be designed as a professional-grade telescope.

The 22-page activity journal was written with children in mind. It talks about how to use the finder scope and different eye pieces, the different phases of the moon, and includes a moon map as well as other interesting tips and facts. Some of the activities for kids include observing: details on the moon, phases of the moon, a daytime moon, a cloudy day moon, etc. I think this is a fun way to teach children not only how to operate the MoonScope but also what it's used for. Since he just got it, my son wants to practice focusing and using the different eye pieces. He hasn't written in the journal yet, but I do expect he will want to try the different activities in the book.

It would be nice if they included a storage case for the MoonScope and also a separate smaller reusable bag for the eyepieces, lens covers, and moon filter.

This is a great toy to get children interested in the moon and away from the television and other electronic devices. My son said he "LO-LO-LO-LO-LOVED IT!!!!!" (He said I needed to put five exclamation points in the review.) After using the MoonScope, he can't stop talking about space and wants to use it all the time. We received this product in exchange for an honest product review.

 
4.0

My son lo-lo-lo-lo-loved it!!!!!

By TM

from IL

Comments about Educational Insights Nancy Bs Science Club Moonscope and Sky Gazers Activity Journal:

I got the MoonScope and Sky Gazer's Activity Journal for my son in first grade who loves science in exchange for an honest product review. When it arrived, he was very excited and couldn't wait to get it out of the box. It is purple and a blueish green color, and does look like it's designed with girls in mind. However, my son didn't comment on the colors and it didn't deter him from using it. My husband said it was very simple and quick to assemble. It is small and lightweight; my son carried it outside.

The 20mm eyepiece was good for viewing the moon. We were able to see some of the surface features shown on the moon map in the journal. The 4mm eyepiece was much more susceptible to vibrations and the moon would leave the field of view much more quickly than compared to the 20mm one. My son needed help adjusting the focus, but got the hang of it more after playing with it. Our neighbor saw us outside using it and stopped over to take a look. She was impressed with the quality for a children's telescope in this price range.

Although we saw some stars in the sky with the naked eye, we couldn't view them with the MoonScope. It does say in the journal that it's hard to see details of stars with the MoonScope because of their distance. We did not view Saturn or Jupiter, but we didn't try to locate them either. It is called a MoonScope, so the name itself implies that it is designed for viewing the moon; not for the stars and other planets. It is a child's toy and not supposed to be designed as a professional-grade telescope.

The 22-page activity journal was written with children in mind. It talks about how to use the finder scope and different eye pieces, the different phases of the moon, and includes a moon map as well as other interesting tips and facts. Some of the activities for kids include observing: details on the moon, phases of the moon, a daytime moon, a cloudy day moon, etc. I think this is a fun way to teach children not only how to operate the MoonScope but also what it's used for. Since he just got it, my son wants to practice focusing and using the different eye pieces. He hasn't written in the journal yet, but I do expect he will want to try the different activities in the book.

It would be nice if they included a storage case for the MoonScope and also a separate smaller reusable bag for the eyepieces, lens covers, and moon filter.

This is a great toy to get children interested in the moon and away from the television and other electronic devices. My son said he "LO-LO-LO-LO-LOVED IT!!!!!" (He said I needed to put five exclamation points in the review.) After using the MoonScope, he can't stop talking about space and wants to use it all the time.

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