An Invitation to Imagine
Long ago people entered the sky's mysteries with the help of Storytellers who enchanted them with myths, legends, and folktales about the comings and goings of the sun and moon, the stars, the on going seasons, and more. Built into the storyteller's "explanations" of how the world worked were values, traditions, beliefs, and tribal wisdom. The stories invited listeners to create images, thus making the world's secrets more personal. When early peoples turned to the Storytellers to learn about the world and how it worked, they learned something about themselves as well.
Today we turn to scientists to help us enter into these same mysteries, for today it is the scientists who tell the stories of how the world works. Their stories, theories, discoveries, and explanations dispel confusions so that we may better be led more fully into the mysteries of our Universe.
Often our learning process begins with “the facts”. We are not engaged and motivated to want to know about our Universe. We are not encouraged to be curious. Instead, we are given answers to questions we have not asked. In the process of being bombarded with seemingly unrelated facts, we often are led away from the real wonders of our universe and left with an impoverished view of it.
SkyTellers addresses this issue, and seeks to reveal that science is not a static, dull body of knowledge to be mastered, but, instead, is a continuing voyage of discovery motivated by wonder and a playful curiosity. The old and the new stories work together to excite the listener about subjects explored in science and the place of humankind in science endeavors.
SkyTellers has been designed to allow audiences to open their imaginations. No images accompany the Native American legends specifically for this purpose. We recommend that program facilitators use only a simple night sky backdrop or horizon panorama, and not populate the dome with line drawings or images or animations. Instead, allow the audience to immerse themselves in the magic of the story, to listen and develop their own mental images.