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STEM Marc_RobinsonAs summer approaches, the days will continue to get longer until June 21 – the longest day of the year. Families looking to enjoy the extra daylight while learning interesting things about astronomy will have several opportunities to do so this summer at the Millard Oakley STEM Center at Tennessee Tech University.

The Oakley STEM Center will celebrate summer solstice with the third annual Longest Day of the Year Family Workshop Friday, June 21, from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Join amateur astronomer and TTU graduate student Marc Robinson for the evening and experience interactive learning stations, use solar cells and view the night sky by telescope.

“June 21 is a perfect opportunity to gather together and learn about our planet, its seasons and the solar system, while doing some interesting hands-on activities and using telescopes,” Robinson said.

“Operation: Intercept! An Interactive Virtual Theater Adventure” will be shown in the Virtual Theater during the Longest Day festivities, starting at 7 p.m. with shows on the half hour. The last virtual space shuttle will leave at 8:30 p.m.

The June 21 event is suitable for 4th through 12th graders and their families, though learners of all ages are welcome. Admission is free. For information about and reservations for the event, visit or call 931-372-6573.

The Virtual Theater will offer free showings of “To the Edge & Back: A Tour of the Universe” and “Operation: Intercept!” over the summer. Robinson, who created the programs and manages the theater, will host the interactive shows Fridays in June and July at 4 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. On June 21, the Virtual Theater will only be open during the Longest Day evening event.

To make reservations for the Virtual Theater, contact Jonathon Riggsbee at (931) 372-6573 or email

The Millard Oakley STEM Center, located in Ray Morris Hall on TTU’s campus, is dedicated to enhancing the teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering and mathematics for teachers, students, families and the community. The STEM-education facility provides professional development for regional PreK-12 teachers, programs for schools, and family and community-centered hands-on events and programs.