Penn Dixie Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing!

Saturday July 27

Rocketry: 2 to 4 pm      Stargazing: 8:15 to 11:15 pm

Penn Dixie invites rocket enthusiasts and astronomy buffs out for a day of rocket launches followed by stargazing. Guests will learn about rockets and how they work, how different sized model rockets are launched, and learn about the history of space flight. Bring your own model rocket to launch! Explore our solar system with astronomy themed crafts and activities.


After an afternoon of rocket launches, join Penn Dixie astronomers for an evening of stargazing. Our astronomers will map the night sky — including stars, planets, constellations, and deep space objects — for you using a variety of telescopes and specialized equipment. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, warm clothing, blankets, and food/beverages. We’ll have plenty of telescopes, but you can bring yours along, too, if you’d like some expert advice.

Rocketry portion is included with admission and FREE for members. Stargazing is $4 per person and FREE for members and daytime guests. No registration needed. All ages welcome.

Our Scouting program rocked!

Scouts with challenged to make rockets using only household items: two-liter soda bottles, cardboard, newspaper, and tape.

On Saturday May 28 — a day in which Buffalo set a new temperature record — Penn Dixie hosted its inaugural Scouting Rocks! program. The event was free for Boy and Girl Scouts in uniform and was designed to highlight the shared values between scientists and scouts, including: teamwork, creative thinking, problem solving, and respect for the outdoors.

Over 100 scouts and their families attended the event, which began with introductory remarks from Congressman Chris Collins — an Eagle Scout himself as well as major frequent supporter of Penn Dixie, Hamburg Town Supervisor Steven Walters — a strong supporter of Penn Dixie and community advocate for regional tourism to Hamburg, and Penn Dixie Executive Director Dr. Phil Stokes.

The program included special guests Adam Blair — an Eagle Scout — and Emilie Reynolds, both SUNY Buffalo mechanical engineering students, who helped scouts to design and launch rockets made from household materials. Rob Bauer from Moog helped to develop the activity but could not attend the day of the program.

Also included was fossil collecting in our freshly excavated quarry, sunspot viewing with astronomer Ernie Jacobs, nature walks with Penn Dixie staff, and Lomo Lomo food truck. We acknowledge the Greater Niagara Frontier Council of Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts of Western New York for their support and guidance with this new program. Penn Dixie thanks all who attended and helped to make the program a tremendous success!

Congressman Collins welcomes guests at our check-in shelter.
Congressman Collins and Supervisor Walters deliver words of encouragement about scouting and science to our young audience.
Eagle Scout Adam Blair prepares for a successful rocket launch.
They looked high; they looked low. They looked everywhere for fossils!
The umbrella was a great idea to beat the heat on a record-setting day.
Astronomer Ernie Jacobs — who located sunspots using a special solar filter on his telescope — has a lot to work with on a hot, sunny day!

Finally, we thank Butch and Jake Burkett for taking photos at the event. You can find the full photo gallery here.