Author Dean Robbins delights Lifelong Learning Giveaway winners

child sitting on floor listening
All photos by William Tishler.

Preschoolers, grandparents, and everyone in between took a trip to outer space together, courtesy of award-winning children’s book author Dean Robbins and the Lifelong Learning Giveaway contest from University of Wisconsin–Madison Continuing Studies.

Robbins read his book Margaret and the Moon to kids at the Madison Children’s Museum on Feb. 9 and talked with them and their adult companions about writing, space travel, and the unsung hero Margaret Hamilton.

Participants won the contest by entering via Continuing Studies’ Winter/Spring Catalog, getting the chance to spend a morning in the cosmos with Robbins and an afternoon exploring the Children’s Museum.

Life and career growth

Learners can find numerous ways to enrich their lives and boost their careers through winter/spring offerings. The catalog highlights more than 200 courses, workshops, lectures, conferences, and educational travel experiences in person or online, each a chance to hone skills, develop interests, meet others, and pursue goals.

Choices range from enrichment courses in art and creative writing to professionally oriented courses, workshops, and conferences in aging and long-term care, distance education, human services, life coaching, and mediation and conflict resolution.

New offerings include the Advanced Dementia Care Specialist Certificate and the Teaching Soft Skills in College Courses Certificate.

Cats in space

On a snowy day at the Children’s Museum, Robbins shared the captivating true story of Margaret Hamilton, who loved space as a child and ended up as a NASA scientist, writing computer code to help Apollo 11’s lunar module land on the moon.

More than a dozen “little learners” at the reading enjoyed hearing about Hamilton’s brilliant math skills and pioneering spirit. They also reveled in counting down several times 10 to zero for “liftoffs.”

In between illuminating facts, Robbins delighted kids with slides of cats, hamburgers, and hamsters in space, asking the young crowd, “Is this what outer space looks like?”

“Noooo!” they shouted and giggled.

Adults and children both enjoyed a post-presentation brunch and book-signing, walking away perhaps inspired to write and to explore for themselves.

To find hundreds more ways to explore, see Continuing Studies’ online catalog for details about winter/spring 2019 offerings.